Five Questions for 'the coronation queen'
Rockland — Every year at the Maine Lobster Festival there are several people consistently seen directing various events. One of those people is Sharon Lombardo.
No doubt, anyone who has attended the annual coronation at the festival has seen her. Keeping the Sea Princesses in line with their escorts and making sure the ceremony flows without flaw is her forte.
Although she was born in Camden, Lombardo was brought up with Harbor Park as her front yard. Her father ran a grocery store, Treneer's Market, at the former Brick's location for several years. Lombardo now lives in Bayside West in Owls Head with her husband, Jimmy.
The couple has two grown sons and four grandchildren, and after 10 years in Penobscot Bay Medical Center administration Lombardo retired to take care of her brother who was in an automobile accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury.
When the festival is not in full swing, Lombardo volunteers, takes care of her brother, and enjoys life. To keep her husband happy, she said she lets him spoil her rotten. She took a few minutes recently to answer these five questions:
How many years have you been involved with the festival?
"This is my 28th year as a director. Before that I was a volunteer for several years."
Were you ever a Sea Princess yourself?
"Yes. In 1962 I was a Sea Princess. I actually joined to spend the night at the Thorndike. They used to put the princesses up at there way back then and it seemed so exciting — I had never spent the night in a hotel. That year, though, they stopped that tradition so I had 17 girls from out of town spend the night at my house. We toasted marshmallows and hot dogs in our fireplace and had a ball.
How do you teach them to perfect "the wave"?
"It's usually my reigning Sea Goddess and Crown Princess that teach the wave at our practices, along with our committee. Everyone just seems to have fun with it. By the end of the second practice they just seem to have it down pat."
What advice to you have for youngster who want to become a Sea Princess?
"Come and enjoy every minute of your time as a Sea Princess and have fun. You'll learn a great deal about your community by attending our field trips to different parts of our community. The winners receive cash awards to help with furthering their education. You have a year to be an ambassador at several local events plus a trip to The Big E in September in Springfield, Mass."
"These young ladies are our future and if we can help them become more confident and self-assured in themselves and every day situations, the sky's the limit. Many of our past Sea Princesses, Goddesses and Crown Princesses have achieved great success in life. We're all very proud of them."
Just how many hats do you wear at the festival?
"Let's see. Coronation Chairman is my biggest and most time consuming hat. I am also on the Benefactions Committee and am a Parade Official. I help my brother, Bob Oxton, get the Sea Princesses, Goddess and Crown Princess involved with parades around the state. Up until last year I was on the Executive Board for several years. I also help with the Great International Crate Race. In my spare time, I help out wherever needed on the grounds. I'm a good meeter/greeter."
If you have a candidate for Five Questions, please email Beth A. Birmingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.