Join the Tomahawk-Merrill Tavern League on July 30, from 4-8 p.m., on Prospect Street in front of Ballyhoo’s and Miller’s Furniture in Merrill, as they raise funds to support the Safe Ride Home program. For your $40 ticket you will receive a whole Maine lobster (that was just swimming in the ocean on Thursday before the event).
Organizers have upped the ante for this year’s second annual event. Last year, 300 tickets were put up for sale and all sold out. This year, 600 tickets have been printed. The deadline to order tickets is July 15, to ensure that the appropriate number of lobsters can be ordered.
Ticket sales have been brisk, noted Ballyhoo’s owner Mike Fick, one of the event’s organizers. The inaugural event last year raised $3,500 for the Safe Ride Home program and this year Fick would like to raise $6,000.
“We were able to keep the Safe Ride Home program funded this year,” he said, “but we want to make the program self-sufficient.”
Lobsterfest is looking for corporate sponsors this year to help defray the costs of putting on the event. Between the cost of the lobsters and the freight to get them from Maine to Merrill overnight, along with the expenses of running the event, the overhead of Lobsterfest is significant.
Also, a grand door prize of a Green Bay Packers suite package has been added to sweeten the deal for Lobsterfest diners. The package includes two tickets to the Sept. 25 home game against Detroit in a luxury box, food and beverages included. That represents about a $1,500 value.
Merrill Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the event. Officers, along with Merrill Mayor Bill Bialecki, will be helping crack lobsters. Chocolate samples will be offered by Sweeter Times as well.
The Safe Ride Home program is funded in part by a surcharge on OWI convictions, which are declining in the state. The Tomahawk/Merrill Tavern League and its participating establishments provide about 150 Safe Ride Home vouchers per month.
The “Pick you Ride” vehicle from the Wisconsin State Patrol (half taxi and half police car) will be on display at the event. Not a fan of Lobster? You can still come out and enjoy the event. Ballyhoo’s will have other items to purchase.
Lobsterfest tickets are available at Ballyhoo’s Eatery in Merrill.