ROCKLAND – The Maine Lobster Festival announces that five young women have been selected as Sea Princesses to compete for the title of Maine Sea Goddess 2022 at the 75th Maine Lobster Festival, according to a press release.
The crowning glory will take place Wednesday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m. on the Maine Stage on the Festival Grounds at Harbor Park in Rockland. Also crowned will be the Crown Princess and Miss Congeniality.
Sea Princesses 2022
Elsbeth Bates – Bates, 18, from Litchfield, is a 2022 graduate of Oak Hill High School. In high school, she participated in cheerleading, and her hobbies include reading, baking, writing, acting, modeling, and volunteering. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Maine in Augusta. As the princess of the sea, Bates hopes to encourage others to know that they are enough and can do anything they want, as long as they try. Its sponsors are Ray Haskell Ford of Oakland and The Happy Kitchen LLC of Augusta.
Hunter Snider-Vaillancourt – Snider-Vaillancourt, 21, of New Gloucester, is currently pursuing a degree in pediatric nursing and will attend Central Maine Community College in Auburn this fall. Her hobbies include volunteering and helping with Girl Scouts, watching her family play softball, and spending time at the ocean. As a sea princess, she hopes to gain confidence, integrity, and stronger social skills. (Sponsors not rated at time of publication.)
Mareh Willis – Willis, 17, of Waldoboro, is a 2022 graduate of Oceanside High School. While in high school, she participated in soccer, lacrosse, and the school musical. His hobbies include volunteering and community service, teaching soccer to young athletes, and spending time with family and friends. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of New England to study medical biology with a pre-physician assistant orientation. As a sea princess, Willis hopes to be a role model for young children and become more involved in the community. Its sponsor is Haskell’s Water Treatment of Rockland.
Olivia Dougherty – Dougherty, 19, of Warren, is a 2021 graduate of Oceanside High School. She is currently attending the University of Maine Orono to pursue a degree in International Relations and Affairs, with a concentration in International Security. Her connection to Maine and its community has helped her aspire to a career that bridges diverse cultures. As a sea princess, Dougherty hopes to gain diplomatic experience and represent a community she has honored throughout her life. Its sponsors are Knight Marine Service of Rockland and Jess’s Market of Rockland.
Rachael Rademacher — Rademacher, 18, of Rockport, is a 2022 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School. Her passion for dance shows on stage through Studio Red, and her heart for the community as a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She plans to attend the College of William and Mary in Virginia to travel the world and minor in dance. As a sea princess, Rademacher hopes to step out of her comfort zone and gain confidence by being a stronger version of herself. Its sponsor is The Study Hall of Rockport.
Pamela Gay – Daughter of the late Walter and Winona Gay of Rockland and Warren, respectively, Gay was born in Portland. She grew up in Rockland and graduated from Rockland District High School, attended the University of Maine for two years, and graduated from George Washington University, Washington, DC with a Bachelor of Science. Gay was Maine’s Sea Goddess in 1961 and represented the MLF and the State of Maine at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass. She served as a coronation judge in 2011. After years of success as an international consultant, contributor and manager of thoroughbred horse businesses and properties, and in a wide range of accomplishments in thoroughbred racing, breeding and equine athletic pursuits, she has now focused her focus on conserving and preserving Northern Virginia’s open spaces.
Krista Tripp – Tripp grew up in Spruce Head and spent her summers fishing lobsters off her family’s Tommy’s Island. She went to college with an interest in business and marine biology. Today, Tripp is a lobster captain and owner of the small oyster farm, Aphrodite Oysters, located on the lower Weskeag River in South Thomaston. She is a wife and mother, and has a small dog named Wilson. In his spare time, Tripp enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, gardening, enjoying the outdoors, going to the beach and vacationing in the winter.
Scott Herrick — Herrick has a long-standing relationship with the sea. His grandfather was the keeper of Wildcat Lobster Pound in Tenants Harbor when he was growing up. After graduating from Rockland District High School, Herrick entered the United States Navy and served on the USS Dallas, a nuclear-powered submarine. After serving his country, Herrick married into a family of lobster fishers who have fished for generations. After learning the trade from his wife’s family, Herrick worked hard to start his own lobster fishing business and continues the family tradition of fishing at Owls Head on his boat, the total eclipse. Herrick lives in Owls Head with his wife, Stephanie, his daughter, Lucia (named after Lucia Beach in Owls Head) and their two Boston Terriers.
“I was happy to help out with the Sea Goddess competition this year,” Herrick said. “The lobster industry is at a crossroads and it is important that we have a younger generation to represent us and fight for our heritage and our way of life. I know my 10 year old daughter admires the ladies in competition and it makes me proud to show her the importance of volunteering in our community.
Coronation Master of Ceremonies
Emily Waterman Dillon is a former Navy wife, mother of three and well known in our community for her professionalism, humor and wit. Hailing from South Thomaston, she has performed with numerous national touring comics including Ryan Niemiller, Dulcé Sloan, Donnell Rawlings and Gilbert Gottfried. Dillon is one of the founders of Stingers Comedy and has been voted the best comedian on the coast of Pensacola, Florida, two years in a row. We are thrilled to have her as the first host at the Coronation of Maine’s Sea Goddess Ambassador.
Coronation Crown Bearer
Gwen McNally, 6, of Warren, is the daughter of Bridgette Kinney and Chris McNally. McNally loves camping with the family, swimming, dancing and playing with the dogs. When she grows up, she plans to become a veterinarian. She hopes to inspire more people to help the earth, recycle and grow more plants.
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