New lobster festival being planned for P.E.I.

P.E.I. lobster fishermen are planning a new lobster festival in June to bring shellfish lovers to the Island during tourism's shoulder season. 

Summerside already hosts an annual lobster festival in mid-July but the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association said its new festival would be held in June. The P.E.I. Shellfish Festival and Fall Flavours every September also draws thousands of tourists to the Island. 

"For a number of years we've been discussing having a spring event," said Ian MacPherson, the association's executive director.

"It's to raise the awareness and hopefully attract more tourists to the Island in what traditionally is a slower month."

The fishermen's association has issued a request for proposals for the one-day event, which it would like to launch this year at an active fishing harbour.

'Enhance' Summerside's efforts

"We feel this would enhance the efforts of the Summerside festival and is not meant to take away or compete directly with it," added MacPherson. 

The focus will be to attract tourists from off-Island, said MacPherson.

Besides lobster consumption, the association plans to entertain and inform guests about the lobster fishery.

Tight timeline

The timeline is tight to plan and execute a festival for June of this year, MacPherson acknowledges. 

"We know it's an aggressive timeline, we don't think it's an unrealistic one," said MacPherson, noting the first year will be small and hopefully grow in the future. 

The association has budgeted $70,000 for the event, MacPherson said, and it's looking at involving other funding partners too.

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