Community breaks shells at sixth annual Westport Rotary Lobster Fest By Arin Garland

The Westport Rotary Club’s sixth annual Lobster Fest was held at Compo Beach Saturday Sept. 16. At its first opening in 2012, tickets started at $40; now one can enjoy the food and activities for half the price.

Leora Wong ’18 went to the Lobster Fest both this year and the year before. “It’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of things going on at once, like the music and different booths...there are even more people here than there were last year.”

However, the idea to combine lobster with music and activities is not original to Westport.

“The idea [for Lobster Fest] originally came from Mildford Connecticut which also has a Lobster Fest...and [members] liked what they were doing there and adopted it here and it's grown every year” Alec Foege, member of the Westport Rotary Club and Head of Communications for Lobster Fest, said.

The sixth annual Lobster Fest had approximately 1500 people in attendance.

The Westport Rotary Club is responsible for running the Lobster Fest, which is their biggest fundraising event each year. “Our goal is to raise funds for charities,” Sandra Urist, Westport Rotary Lobster Fest Chair, said. “We give 100 percent of our proceeds away. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds are given to local and regional non-profits and 25 percent to international.”

Dozens of tents were set up spanning across almost the entire docking area. The activities ranged from wine tasting to face painting for kids, but the majority of people were there for one thing: lobster.

At any given time the lobster line ranged from 20 to 30 people. Attendees carried trays of steaming red lobster from one tent to the next. A cloud of dust hovered over the event, kicked up as a result of the sheer number of people gathered in one place. According to Elizabeth Brucker, the Westport Rotary Club Bulletin Editor, 1500 people attended the event and approximately 330 people volunteered.

Attendees and volunteers alike wait in line for their lobsters.

Serena Ye ’20, sat at a table crowded by children and their parents. “I’m face painting,” Ye said, representing the Key Club at Staples.” When asked why she decided to volunteer she said, “I get to talk to the little kids and draw creative designs.”

Staples Key Club volunteers offer free face painting to kids at the Westport Rotary Lobster Fest.

Yoel Hooper ’20 also volunteered at Lobster Fest representing A Better Chance of Westport and stated that participating in the event was a good way to connect to the community. “I was refilling the waters for everyone and helping people carry their trays if they had kids” Hooper said. “It’s been really fun; it’s a hot day, but it just brings us all closer.”

Lobster Fest provides an opportunity for Staples students to get in their community service hours, help funding for charities, interact with other locals and staples students, and to have fun. As an extra incentive, volunteers get free admission, a T-shirt and a hamburger voucher.

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