The Westport Rotary Club‘s LobsterFest is a great Westport tradition.
Over 300 volunteers serve 2,400 lobsters, 300 steaks, 1,600 ears of corn, and plenty of raw oysters to 1,200 ticketholders.
Though the goal is great — proceeds support more than 30 local organizations, plus international Rotary projects — it can be an environmental mess.
Where are you — well, all those volunteers — gonna put all those lobster and oyster shells, steak bones and husks, not to mention thousands of knives, forks, paper plates and napkins?
Don’t worry! These folks think of everything.
This year’s event — set for Saturday, September 21 (3 to 7 p.m., Compo Beach) — is environmentally friendly. Thanks to a partnership with Sustainable Westport, LobsterFest focuses as much on recycling as on raising money for charity.
Tony McDowell — Rotarian, former Fest chair and now a member of the organizing team — explains that this year’s feast picks up where other town local initiatives like the Maker Faire left off.
Last spring, that townwide event recycled in a big way. Every garbage can was labeled for the different type of trash to be deposited in it. Greens Farms Elementary School does the same thing, in their cafeteria.
LobsterFest will do it too. A company will haul away lobster shells, and compostable plates, trays and cups. Almost all waste will be reused.
But not all. Some plastic knives and forks remain from last year. Moving forward, the event will use all corn-based utensils.
The red trays are plastic. But they’re reused every year.
LobsterFest is a fun, family event. Kids’ activities include the Melissa & Doug children’s tent. The Hot Rubber Monkey Band returns too.
A $60 ticket includes two 1-and-a-quarter-pound lobsters, or a 14-ounce New York strip steak, plus corn, cole slaw, bread and butter, potato salad, peppermint patties, and all the beer or wine you can drink. There’s also a $10 menu for children 12 and under.
Tickets are available only in advance. Click here to order online. They can also be purchased at Joey’s by the Shore, or from any Rotary Club member.
NOTE: The Westport Rotary LobsterFest is different from the Westport Lobster Festival, sponsored by Westport Lifestyles magazine. That event is September 28, at the Fairfield County Hunt Club; it includes a polo match and balloon festival.
No word yet on how much they’ll recycle their lobster shells, utensils and trays.