Rotary Lobsterfest another success at new venue

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Mussels were taken out for service by Rotary volunteers outside the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre for Rotary Lobsterfest on Saturday evening.

The Prince Albert Rotary Club’s Lobsterfest was held at a new venue in the Prince Albert Exhibition on Saturday evening, but that didn’t stop the annual event from being as popular as ever.

“With the change in our venue, it’s kind of a new year for us to try a bunch of different things out,” Rotary Club treasurer Keith Fonstad said. “We’ve got a great crowd for tonight. We’re excited and ready to go and with no stairs at the venue, so the lobster is a little bit better that way.

“We’ve just got lots of great support from sponsors and we’ve probably got one of the best prize packages, over $50,000 in sponsorship and donations.”

The event has been a sellout for all 19 years the Rotary has hosted it. Fonstad said the club prepared 260 lobsters and more than 100 steaks for the occasion. The appetizers for the evening was 50 to 60 pounds of steamed mussels.

“It will be a pretty good evening for food, and we got Randy Whitter (My Place Bistro and Catering) again as a caterer for the non-steak and lobster,” Fonstad said.

Before the meal, a VIP Table was auctioned off by Eric Schmalz with proceeds going to the Prince Albert SPCA. Fonstand and Tina Stenske served as emcees. “Larry the Lobster” a giant lobster was also part of the fun.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Prince Albert Rotary volunteers loaded lobsters outside the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre for Rotary Lobsterfest on Saturday evening.

The venue change was because of circumstances, according to Fonstad.

“It was just one of those things where we needed to try something different this year and the opportunity presented itself,” he explained. “We found out the timing in June is a busy time for everybody.”

This was the first time the event was on Father’s Day weekend but the organization is looking at changing dates again next year.

“We’ll be looking at going back to back to an earlier time, probably either earlier June or May again versus this weekend next year. This location is working out great so far so we’ll see how it goes and see where we do it for next year,” Fonstad said.

The event featured great support from sponsors and included a Silent Auction with 15 items. The event also included a bucket raffle with another 17 items, then the Canadian Tire Pyramid Raffle, Leon’s first elimination, and Riverside Bonanza Bingo.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Steaks were on the grill outside the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre for Rotary Lobsterfest on Saturday evening.

The majority of funds for the evening were going towards improvements in Little Red River Park. The Rotary Adventure Park is entering the final phase of completion and this will help other parts of the park.

Funds will also go towards repairing two camp kitchens out at Little Red.

“There’s one at the bottom of sliding hill and then the Rotary one that’s outside of the Cosmo Lodge,” Fonstad said. “The rooves are in tough shape so we’re committed to raising some funds to help replace them so that they look the same as the outdoor kitchen that we’re building in the park.

“There’s still some improvements outside of our initial scope was. It’s just another improvement to help with the aesthetics of the area,” he added.

The Rotary Club thanked the community for their support in all aspects of the event.

“It’s just amazing support from our in our community for participating as sponsors and donating items for the raffles,” Fonstad said. “We just can’t wait to have the event.”