Where does the UMass Halloween lobster dinner really come from?

It’s been a tradition for years now, to the point where you can never find a seat at the dining halls on Halloween, but the mystery remains intact…until now.


Lobster dinner by Benson Kua on Wikimedia Commons

There is an ongoing rumor at UMass Amherst that the Halloween lobster dinner is funded by UMass Alumnus, Bill Cosby. Garett DiStefano, Director of Dining Services at UMass, said it’s not. Instead, it’s funded by the students’ meal plans.


“What we do is be very cautious and we’re very good about keeping our food costs and controls in place. We budget for this on an annual basis and because we buy so much, we get the lobster at a very reasonable price,” said Distefano.


This year they ordered around 14,500 lobsters and about 14,000 were eaten. The uneaten lobster was reutilized in different meals like soups, lobster mac and cheese and others.


The annual Halloween lobster dinner has been a tradition since 2001. Ken Toong, Executive Director of UMass Auxiliary Enterprises, said it started off as an idea to have fun, build community and say thanks to the students.


“We need some experience, something a little different. It’s nice to see the dining company become a party… and students really enjoy it and it’s something they will remember,” said Toong. “We call it all treats, no trick.”


Over the years they have added a costume contest, magicians, pumpkin painting, DJs, prizes and more to make it a full event.


It’s become an event that many enjoy. On and off campus students, Amherst Residents, Alumni and more all look forward to this every year and remember the event very fondly.


“That’s what it’s all about, trying to create those memories and engagements. We’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences with it and it’s a tradition we want to continue to share with future generations at UMass,” said DiStefano.


Facebook Comments