Guide to the Shediac Lobster Festival

Last Updated on July 2, 2024

Every July the town of Shediac, New Brunswick celebrates the Shediac Lobster Festival (Festival du Homard de Shediac), a 10 day shell-ebration of all things lobster. Now in its 75th year in 2024 the festival celebrates the best Atlantic lobster in the Lobster Capital of the World. During the lobster festival there are tons of events, a carnival, live music, lots of lobster to be eaten and more! Here are my guide for the best things to do at the Shediac Lobster Festival!

Cailin holding a lobster dinner in front the grand table at the shediac lobster festival

Eat Lobster

This one is obvious of course! There are several restaurants in Shediac with lobster on the menu. Whether it’s a lobster roll, lobster dinner or even lobster poutine, you can’t visit the Lobster Capital of the World without trying some! You could even visit a lobster pound and grab some to take home. 

Visit the Homarus Centre

Opened in July 2022, the Homarus Centre is a museum all about lobster. Sign up for a guided tour in French or English and learn everything you could have ever wanted to know about lobster. Learn about lobsters mating, how many eggs a lobster has, how many eggs survive, learn about lobsters different features and colors, their habitat and more. You can even learn about lobster fishing and sharing the lobster fishing seasons in the maritimes. The Homarus Centre also has a large touch tank in the shape of a lobster. It’s a great place for families and adults to visit to learn so much about the lobster. 

Cailin taking a selfie with the worlds largest lobster sculpture in shediac new brunswick

Get a Selfie with the Worlds Biggest Lobster

Located near the Shediac rotary and next to the Homarus Centre is a 55ton statue of a lobster. (99 tonnes if you include the base). This is said to be the largest lobster in the world and was made by local artist Winston Bronnum in 1989. It’s an iconic spot in Shediac for a shell-fie or selfie and you can even climb up the front steps to get close to the big guy. Every year he gets a brand new coat of paint so he is always looking it’s best!

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lobster crostinis at the corks and claws dining event at the shediac lobster festival

Attend a foodie event

Ticketed foodie events at the Shediac Lobster Festival can sell out far in advance so be sure to grab your tickets as soon as they are released. One of the most popular events being the Corks & Claws event where at least 12 different lobster dishes are served and paired with 12 different local and world renowned wines. It’s a fun night of delicious lobster bites, tasty wine, and live music. 

Other foodie events include Ales to Tails, a community breakfast, the Grand Table (La Grande Table), lobster eating competitions and also the culinary stage where you can learn how to make delicious lobster dishes from renowned chefs. 

Enjoy the carnival

Put on each year by Campbell Amusements, walk the main festival grounds and try your hand at some carnival games like skeeball, go on a ride if you dare and eat some cotton candy or a crazy deep fried concoction. The carnival takes place during 6 days of the festival and starts mid-afternoon until 10pm most nights. Theres nothing like the atmosphere of a summer carnival with screams of delight in the air and the Shediac Lobster Festival carnival is one of the best!

Have a lobster roll in a lobster trap!

Of course you need to eat lobster more than once in the lobster capital of the world. Located right on the fair grounds of the Shediac Lobster Festival is a massive lobster trap that you can walk right into just like a lobster! We promise however that you won’t get caught and can leave whenever you want. Once you’re in there though you better order a delicious lobster roll. Served with a side of potato salad and coleslaw to enjoy!

Lobster Claw 5km 10km run image credit shediac lobster festival

image credit Shediac Lobster Festival

Go for a Lobster Run

During the Shediac lobster festival you will be eating a lot, so you might want to consider participating in one of the sporting events. There is a volleyball tournament, a washer toss tournament, yoga classes, dance classes and a 5km and 10km Claw run/walk. I do recommend doing this before you eat a lobster roll however. A lobster roll would be a sweet reward after a big run though!

enjoy a cold lobster dinner at the grand table in shediac

Eat a lobster dinner in the middle of the street!

For one afternoon during the lobster festival they completely shut down the Main Street of Shediac and set up a huge table in the middle of the road. Known as La Grande Table it is over 56 feet long and over 400 people sit down at it at once to enjoy a massive lobster dinner feast all together.

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Purchase your tickets ahead of time and then show them to the staff when you arrive. Choose a seat and soon they will be serving you a full cold lobster with a dinner roll, coleslaw, potato salad, a bottle of water and a cute little dessert. The lobsters are partially broken for you to make it easier to eat and they help by providing tools you might need as well as many napkins and wet naps. La Grande Table is such a fun way for the community to get together and enjoy this delicious crustacean. 

lobster eating contest in shediac

image credit Shediac Lobster Festival

Watch a lobster eating contest

For those that think they can do it, sign up to compete in a lobster eating contest. Whoever can deconstruct a lobster shell, pull apart the claws, suck out the legs, and eat it the fastest wins! Or if you like to spend more time enjoying your meal you can always watch others try this for a good laugh. There are three different lobster eating competition dates during the lobster festival. May the best lobster eater win!

live music in the grousse tent grand tent at the shediac lobster festival

Take in the live music

Aside from celebrating lobster the Shediac Lobster Festival is also a huge concert with nightly live music performances. Grab your tickets and a drink and enjoy great cover bands and more in the Grand Tent / Grouse Tent almost every night. Make a whole night of it, enjoy a foodie event, grab some rides at the carnival, then dance the night away in a big crowd listening to live music from amazing artists.

a one bedroom room at the tait house boutique hotel in shediac

Where to stay in Shediac?

While attending the Shediac Lobster Festival I stayed on the main street of Shediac in the Tait House Boutique Hotel. The Tait House is a historic landmark in Shediac and has nine rooms as well as a great restaurant with fantastic food and cocktails. The hotel is in a prime location for the lobster festival with the La Grande Table being only a block away. The main festival grounds are a quick drive or 12 minute walk away.

If all of the accommodations right in Shediac are already booked up during the lobster festival then another great spot to stay is the Rodd Moncton hotel. The Rodd Moncton is only a 20 minute drive from the festival. The hotel is located right along the Petitcodiac river with lots of restaurants and shops nearby. Also twice daily on the river you can see the unique tidal bore push up the river from the Bay of Fundy.

To learn more about the Shediac Lobster Festival watch my video here:

What are your favourite things to do at the Shediac Lobster festival? 

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