What’s more fun than a parade of elephants? A party of jays? A consortium of crabs?

It’s the 2018 Maine Moose Lottery, set this year for June 9 in Skowhegan. And while there’s no guarantee you’ll see a herd of these giants of the Maine woods, it’s sure to be a great time nonetheless.

For the uninitiated, the annual Maine Moose Lottery is held to determine which lucky hunters get to pursue Maine’s version of big game—the venerable moose. According to Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, about 55,000 people, residents and non-residents alike, apply for a moose permit each year. Of those, only about 2,100 receive one. The number of permits available is based on various factors and is managed carefully.

For many, winning the lottery represents a nadir in their chosen pastime.

For the past several years, the lottery has been hosted in various Maine communities [2017’s lottery was held in Caribou—Ed.]. Kristina Cannon, the executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, the organization planning the event, said Skowhegan is making a weekend of it, with events like wild game dinners and live music acts.

“We’re really excited about the potential for new people to come in and visit our town and see all that we have to offer,” she said. “Hopefully [the events] will bring people in on Friday night and keep them around through Sunday, stay and eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels or campgrounds, and really get a chance to explore Skowhegan.”

Cannon said Main Street Skowhegan’s mission is to revitalize the town’s economy, help the community, and boost tourism. She said the organization has recently been promoting Skowhegan’s natural resources, outdoor recreation, and the food scene—”We’ve got a pretty big local food movement happening here.”

Skowhegan’s 2018 Maine Moose Lottery celebration runs June 8-10, with many events planned. For a schedule of events and more, visit skowheganmoosefest.com.

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