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Published August 15, 2010, 12:00 AM

Lobster and Lefse Festival a success

Upward of 5,000 people attended event
Uff-da. Those sure were some tasty crustaceans, ya betcha.

Uff-da. Those sure were some tasty crustaceans, ya betcha.

The unlikely union of Norwegian flat bread and Maine seafood was observed during the F-M AM Rotary Club’s first Lobster and Lefse Festival Friday and Saturday at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo.

At mid-afternoon Saturday, organizer Randy Long predicted that a total of 5,000 to 6,000 shellfish-ianados would tie on lobster bibs before the festival was through.

On a weekend that was a bit too breezy and cool for lake activities, people from as far away as Canada showed up to dine on shrimp, crab cakes, corn on the cob and fresh lobster flown in from the Maine Lobster Co.

“It was well worth the travel,” said Tim Uggerud, who drove 100 miles from Alexandria, Minn., for the day. “It was a good experience.”

Heather Olsgaard of Fargo lives much closer but was just as excited about the event. “I love lobster,” she said. “It’s fun because the lobster is only $10, not $30.”

But even the lobster-phobic didn’t go away hungry. “I like the hot dogs,” said Luke Heinisch, 12.

“The feedback has been fantastic,” Long said. “People are loving the lobster and the causes it’s going for.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the YWCA.

Even the occasional hiccup during the festival failed to cool Long’s enthusiasm. Downpours earlier this week turned the ground around the field into a swamp, forcing organizers to move the proceedings up into the stadium’s concourse. Most of the volunteers weren’t experts at cooking the king of crustaceans, although several had done plenty of research beforehand. (“We knew it turned red,” quipped Herb Schmidt, Rotary member.)

And heavy winds made it hard to heat up the steamers – built to accommodate 75 to 100 lobsters at a time. Consequently, some people stood in line 35 minutes waiting for their $10 meal.

But few seemed to mind. “They were fine. Everyone was in a good mood,” said Pegi Palmes, a volunteer from the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.

Organizers expressed surprise that the first-time event had gone so smoothly. “This has been kind of a blast,” Schmidt said. “If we can break even, then we’ll do it again next year.”

More information

  • Due to public demand, Lobster and Lefse Festival T-shirts may be available for sale. Details will be posted on www.lobsterandlefse.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525