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midwests largest lobster and seafood festival 1

Aug. 11, 2022 | Three-day family friendly event featuring free admission, VIP options, food and live music

Navy Pier Hosts Midwest’s Largest Lobster & Seafood Festival

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

CHICAGO—The Midwest’s largest Lobster & Seafood Festival, Great American Lobster Fest, will return to celebrate its seventh year at Navy Pier from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, Saturday, Sept. 3 and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4.

The live lobsters will be flown in fresh from the East Coast, courtesy of Lobster Gram. Additionally, the fest will feature a vast array of seafood selections, non-seafood related items, other exciting food vendors, snacks, sweets and vegetarian options.

The festival grounds are open to the public to enjoy live music and many different food, drink, and craft vendors. No lobster meals, reserved seating areas, or food/drink of any kind are included for walk-up general admission guests.

The VIP Experience will take place within the festival grounds as well as sections of the Aon Grand Ballroom and include premium seating, ordering, viewing and party areas. Plus, a special sampling experience inside the VIP Lounge from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. daily.  Ticket includes the festival grounds to enjoy live music, many different food and drink options and craft vendors, plus a choice of (1) full lobster (approximately 1.25 pounds) or lobster roll, served with corn on the cob, potatoes, a dinner roll, fresh cut lemons and melted butter. VIP ticket holders also receive (4) drink vouchers good for any beverages of choice, plus access to an exclusive VIP Lounge. Also, additional access to bathrooms, reserved seating areas and the Special Sampling Experience from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. and 5:00 -7:00 p.m. daily.

The Lobster Meal Experience will have exclusive areas for meal pick-up, separate from all other day-of food purchase tents and reserved seating areas. There will also be a private redemption line and exclusive lounge for VIP ticket holders. Ticket includes the festival grounds to enjoy live music and many different food and drink options and craft vendors, plus a choice of one (1) full lobster (approximately 1.25 pounds) or lobster roll, served with corn on the cob, potatoes, a dinner roll, fresh cut lemons and melted butter. One (1) drink ticket redeemable for a domestic beer, hard seltzer, bottled water or soda. Lobster Meal guests may also take advantage of reserved seating areas designated throughout the festival grounds (including inside the Aon Grand Ballroom with second floor balcony access). Pre-ordering your lobster meal is strongly suggested as day-of availability will be limited and sold at a higher price.

Live musical performances will be featured on the outdoor main stage throughout each afternoon and into the night. In addition to the special arts and craft shopping, there will also be many family-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained as well. Bands will include Who’s Bad (The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience), Aniba & The Sol Stars, Thornetta Davis (The Queen of the Blues), RICO! (a Tribute to Carlos Santana), The Smiley Tillman Band, Kysia Live Band, Marlon & The Shakes, Vibe Music Live, and Chicago’s Own Angela Martin.  Live DJs will also be performing throughout the weekend.

Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the fest’s discounted presale meal options which also include access to reserved seating areas and a guaranteed seafood entrée at the fest.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more.

The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit


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