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.
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, 18, from Litchfield, graduated in 2022 from 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, Elsbeth 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, 21, of New Glouster, is currently studying 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, 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, Mareh hopes to be a role model for young children and become more involved in the community. His godfather is Steve Willis of Warren.
Olivia 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, Olivia 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.
Rachel Rademacher, 18, of Rockport, graduated in 2022 from 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, Rachael 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, was born in Portland, Maine. 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. Pam 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.
Kristen Tripp grew up in Spruce Head and spent his summers fishing for lobsters off his family’s island, Tommy’s Island. She went to college with an interest in business and marine biology. Today, Kristen is a lobster boat captain and owner of a 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 her spare time, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, gardening, enjoying the outdoors, going to the beach and vacationing in the winter.
Scott 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, Scott entered the United States Navy and served on the USS Dallas, a nuclear-powered submarine. After serving his country, Scott married into a family of lobster fishers who have fished for generations. After learning the trade from his wife’s family, Scott 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. Scott lives in Owls Head with his wife Stephanie, 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
Emilie 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 many nationally 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. Gwen loves camping with her 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.
About the Maine Lobster Festival
Five days of fun and feasting on Maine’s fabulous coast, the Maine Lobster Festival draws thousands to the Midcoast area and has a long tradition of giving back to the local community. The 2022 Festival will be held from August 3-7 and will feature exciting new events to celebrate its 75th anniversary. For more information about the Maine Lobster Festival, visit the website at www.mainelobsterfestival.com, “like” it on Facebook, follow it on Twitter at @MELobsterFest and on Instagram at @mainelobsterfest.