“Premiere event” starts Friday

Eric Sparling
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8th Pugwash Harbourfest

HarbourFest starts Friday in Pugwash

PUGWASH – Lee Fleming thinks there’s something for everyone in Pugwash this weekend.

“This is the eighth annual HarbourFest,” said the event coordinator.

Calling it “Cumberland County’s premiere oceanfront event,” Fleming said they’re expecting 10,000 visitors to the village from Friday to Sunday.

A number of activities that were new last year will be making their second appearance this summer: the motorcycle rally, soapbox derby and bathtub races.

Don’t expect the Picton Castle, though, or Theodore Tugboat.

“We are a Tall Ship outport,” said Fleming.

The designation means they host the tour one year in three. This year and next will be sans Tall Ships.

There will still be a nautical event, however. Ten dragon boat teams are registered to race, counting more than 200 paddlers.

The list of land activities is lengthy. A Cross-Border Challenge 5 km running race is being held. Then there’s kite flying and an art show, live music and food vendors, a three-day farmer’s market and kids activities. The fire department, Legion and Communities in Bloom are all hosting meals. Frisbie golf and beach volleyball, a beer and wine tent and a crib tournament are also on the roster, plus a number of other activities.

The event’s impact on the local economy is “huge,” said the coordinator: “It’s one of the top days of the year (for most businesses).”

Harbourfest, which began in 2006, was created to highlight the village’s case for development as a full-service marina. That goal has not been achieved, but it hasn’t been abandoned either. Fleming said there’s no point on Nova Scotia’s north shore where vessels traveling from Shediac to Cape Breton can fuel up.

Fleming said entrance is free this year, as is participation in many events. The festival crowd is composed mostly of Nova Scotians, with Cumberland County, as well as Pictou and Colchester, providing the largest contingent.

A timetable of events can be found at www.pugwashharbourfest.ca. The first event starts at 9 a.m. Friday, although the official opening ceremony isn’t until 5 p.m.

eric.sparling@tc.tc

@ADNsparling

Geographic location: PUGWASH, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia Shediac Cape Breton Nova Scotians Colchester

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