Lobster Meal — Lobster Fest 2017 (copy)

Fresh live Maine lobsters were served at a previous Long Beach Original Lobster Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park.

Lobster lovers can indulge this weekend in Rainbow Lagoon Park, where there will be more than enough lobster-themed dishes to go around.

"We have everything you can think of from lobster mac and cheese to lobster rolls and even some new stuff you might have not even thought of yet," Tracie Wintori, event coordinator, said. "We even have lobster and waffles."

Wintori added that the vendors are stepping up their lobster game this year with even more unique plated combinations and creative ways to dish out fan favorites. There will be fresh, live lobsters from Maine, smoked lobster and steak for surf and turf plates and barbecue specialties — and they have the world's largest lobster steamer.

Brand new this year, and included with admission, is a whiskey-tasting tent, where guests can taste smoked whiskey pairings with lobster sides.

A shaded tent featuring the weekend's sports games also will be playing all day, so guests don't have to miss their favorite football or soccer matches. A free photo booth, a kids' area featuring face painting, a bounce house and a craft station thanks to Macaroni Kid Long Beach makes the event family-friendly.  

Lobster Man (copy)

A lobster character greeted guests at a previous Long Beach Original Lobster Festival  at Rainbow Lagoon Park.

On top of the eats, there's a full weekend of entertainment scheduled. Guests can sing karaoke paired with a live band, or listen to the tunes of bands like Long Beach's own Knyght Ryder, REMJ (Michael Jackson impersonator and tribute artist) and Par Avion. The children's stage will showcase magic from Rafael, a magician featured on America's Got Talent.

And the best part, Wintori said, is that "we will cut the lobster for you, so you don't have to worry about getting messy trying to break the shells open yourself... just sit back, eat and enjoy."

Finally, for friends and family who aren't fans of seafood, there will be plenty of lobster-free items available for purchase ranging from pizza to Chinese food to Italian pastas.

VIP tickets are sold out, but there still are general admission tickets on sale. Friday admission is just $5, and Saturday and Sunday tickets are $13 per person if purchased online and $15 if purchased at the gate (a $2 off coupon is available for print at originallobsterfestival.com/coupon). Children 12 and younger and active and veteran military personnel are admitted for free with valid I.D.

Lobster meal packages are available as well, with one lobster meal and admission included. Those start at $30 per person. 

Parking is available at the Marina Green and the Pike Place Garage.

For all ticket options, go to originallobsterfestival.com/tickets.

The Long Beach Lobster Festival returns from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, at Rainbow Lagoon Park.

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