The P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival may soon have to find a bigger venue if organizers hope to keep the world record for the longest lobster roll.
A crowd of hundreds erupted into applause when the festival smashed the previous record with a 203.2-foot-long roll that stretched almost the entire length of the tent at the Charlottetown Event Grounds.
While the World Record Academy still has to evaluate the results to make it official, it appears as though the roll was long enough to beat Shediac, N.B.’s previous record of 180 feet from this past July.
“Shediac, beat that,” challenged P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) president Bobby Jenkins once the final measurement was in, while also acknowledging the large amount of hard work that was put into creating the massive lobster roll.
Food Network celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, who hosted the festival, said there was about 132 pounds of lobster on the roll and that it took volunteers all night to bake the bun, which was one continuous piece.
“Next year we might need a bigger tent,” said Crawford. “I know the challenge is going to continue.
Charlottetown and Shediac have duelled back and forth for the record for the past several years. P.E.I. previously held the record at 122 feet before Shediac reclaimed the title with their 180-foot-long creation this past July.
PEIFA executive director Ian MacPherson noted the rivalry between the two fishing communities is a light-hearted one.
“It is friendly. We share the waters and the fishermen over there are just as passionate as the fishermen on P.E.I.,” said MacPherson. “It’s a good, fun thing that promotes the industry and that’s what it’s all about.”
Even Premier Wade MacLauchlan got in on the light-hearted roasting of Shediac once the lobster roll was complete.
“I think it’s fantastic and I can’t wait to get to New Brunswick and see what they think of this,” said MacLauchlan.
Those at the festival could also get a piece of the “historic” lobster roll for $2 each, with the money being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The roll was one of the closing highlights for the festival, which saw four days packed with culinary demos, celebrity chefs and cooking competitions.
More than $24,000 in cash prizes was given out for industry, chowder and shucking competitions throughout the week.
One of those was the 2017 Garland Canada Chef Challenge, which saw 12 of the country’s best chefs face off in a live cooking competition for a $10,000 prize.
Chef Jinhee Lee, of Foreign Concept in Calgary, was crowed as this year’s winner.
Festival chair Liam Dolan described this year’s festival as “fantastic.”
Dolan, who began the festival in 1996 as a way to extend the province’s shoulder tourism season, said this was the biggest year for the festival yet.
“It’s been unbelievable, it’s a record crowd everyday,” said Dolan. “It’s fantastic.”