More than 80,000 lobster lovers are expected at the 51st annual Maine Lobster Festival, July 29 to Aug. 2 in Rockland. The crustaceans will be steamed in one of the world's largest lobster cookers. Other events include the arrival of King Neptune and his court from the sea, parades, lobster crate races, an open house on Coast Guard ships, carnival rides and games. The festival is held at Harbor Park on the city's waterfront, overlooking Penobscot Bay. For more information, contact the Rockland Festival Corp., P.O. Box 552, Rockland, ME 04841; telephone (800) 562-2529.
During Reno's Uptown Downtown ARTown 1998 festival, July 1 to 31, more than 150 performances in three dozen locations are expected to draw more than 60,000 people. Highlights include special museum exhibits of work by Andy Warhol and Thomas Hart Benton, tributes to Duke Ellington and George Gershwin, performances of "Two Gentlemen of Verona," and "Tap Dogs." Children's events take place at Wingfield Park and include making masks, maracas- and didgeridoos, and dancing. Also: ghost stories, evening movies in the park and walking tours of historic areas. For more information, contact Uptown Downtown ARTown, 200 Flint St., Reno, NV 89501; tel. (702) 329-1324.
The 11th annual Oregon Brewers Festival takes place July 24 to 26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. More than 70 breweries from all over North America will offer tastings of their handcrafted product, from pilseners to ales to barley wines. Hop growers, maltsters, fermentation scientists and home brewers will offer beer-related activities, and local restaurants will serve light meals. For more information, contact the Oregon Brewers Festival, 5019 S.W. Lowell, Portland, OR 97221; tel. (503) 778-5917.
The Festival of the American West, July 31 to Aug. 8 (except Sunday) at Jensen's Historical Farm, celebrates all aspects of the Western life. Visitors can learn spinning and candle dipping, and watch cooking, quilting and farming demonstrations. During the festival, a hand-hewn log cabin will be built on the site, an addition to the Pioneer Village area. A nightly outdoor, multimedia pageant depicts the settling of the West through song, dance, slides and even horse-drawn wagons on stage. The farm is eight miles south of Logan. For more information, contact American West Heritage Center, 7700 University Blvd., Logan, UT 84322; tel. (800) 225-3378.
Colonial Williamsburg seems like the perfect place to celebrate the Fourth of July. The day will begin with a military salute on Duke of Gloucester Street by the Fife and Drum Corps. At noon, the mayor of the city of Williamsburg will read the Declaration of Independence to a crowd gathered on the steps of the courthouse. An evening garden party in the Governor's Palace garden will feature typical entertainment of the period, and fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. For more information, contact Colonial Williamsburg, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776; tel. (800) 447-8679.
Toronto may seem an unlikely place for Caribbean music but Caribana, July 31 to Aug. 3, attracts more than 1 million participants to a festival of music, dance, design, fashion and food. The July 31 all-night pre-parade party features calypso and Soca bands, culminating in a steel band jam at dawn. The two-mile parade includes 30 elaborately costumed Caribbean bands competing for the Band of the Year award, followed by another dance party. Then it's two more days of music at Olympic Island, a short ferry ride from downtown. For more information, contact the Caribbean Cultural Committee, 138 Hamilton St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4M 2E1; tel. (416) 465-4884.