BAR HARBOR — Nearly 80 lobsters are scheduled to race in the annual Mount Desert Island YMCA lobster races on Monday, July 4, at the Bar Harbor athletic field, immediately following the parade which begins at 10 a.m.
“The lobsters are put into a racetrack built specifically for this event,” said Doreen Frangos-Willett, membership director of the MDI YMCA. “It’s a tiered four-track racing tank that’s pumped with cool sea water. These lobsters are treated very well.”
Lobsters with names like “Butters” and “Lobster Man” will race under the direction of Lenny DeMuro, who will call this year’s event.
“People can come out and bet a dollar or two on each race,” said Frangos-Willett. “The more people the merrier. Winning bettors will be awarded with huge bragging rights.” The lobsters propel themselves down the long narrow track that features clear Plexiglas sides for better visibility. Some go forward, some backward.
According to Frangos-Willett, the races will run until about 2 p.m., when the lobsters, which are sponsored by area businesses, are returned to their tank at Parsons Lobsters and Clams on the Eagle Lake road.
This event is free to spectators and funds raised will help provide scholarships to those who otherwise could not afford to participate in MDI YMCA programs. Funds also are used to help keep YMCA programs strong and open year round to residents and visitors of the greater Mount Desert Island area.