Organizers of the Maine Lobster Festival Parade have decided to ban all politicians and political organizations from this summer's parade.

The festival board voted last week to institute the ban, and make the parade a politics-free event. All others are welcome to apply for the parade that will wind down Main Street in Rockland on Saturday, August 4th. This year's application for the parade includes a message to those with political affilliations:

"The Maine Lobster Festival parade is a non-partisan, secular and neutral private event which celebrates our community, our people and our lobsters. Because of this, we will no longer be accepting political applications. We anticipate and appreciate your respect of this policy."

Political leaders have expressed concern over the practice, with Rockland Democratic Chairman Gerald Weinand telling the Portland Press Herald that politicians criss-crossing parade routes to shake hands and chat with their constituents is a Maine tradition. He went on to say that the parade shouldn't be considered a private event when it's held in public spaces.