HarbourFest Trumps Variable Weather

Jamie Heap
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Kite Flying Cancelled while 5 K Run, Basic Spirit Dragon Boat Challenge Continue as Planned

PUGWASH-Heavy winds and light rainfall were no match for the perseverance of those who made the eighth annual HabourFest the success it was this past weekend

“Despite the variable weather this weekend, this event has been quite a success,” stated HarbourFest chairperson Wally Vaters. “We’ve had a very good turn-out this weekend. Most of the scheduled events went off without a hitch,” he added.

While high winds cancelled the kite-flying on Friday night, other events went on as planned during this event which was driven this year by some 150-200 volunteers.

One of these events was the first annual HarbourFest 5K run. “I am extremely happy with the turnout and I would describe it as a huge success,” stated run director Judi Giroux. “We had 215 runners, 200 observers and 100 volunteers,” she added. “We had runners from every Canadian province, the U.S. and Germany.”

Another popular event that took place was the Basic Spirit Dragon Boat Challenge. While it may have been limited to one heat instead of two, it was won by Dragon Boat East, an eighteen member crew that races out of Dartmouth on Lake Banook. “It feels really good to have won,” stated A.J. Baron. “This is my first race.”

Baron’s sentiments were echoed by fellow Dragon Boat East racer Diane Gibbons. “It’s (Pugwash Harbour) such a great venue, our favourite to race,” said Gibbons.

Dragon Boat East was not the only Dragon Boat team to compete on Saturday. The Tradesmen, a local team comprised of racers from the Pugwash-Tatamagouche area, as well as FOPE (Friends of the Pugwash Estuary), a Pugwash-based Dragon Boat team that won most sportsmanlike. Tours of the estuary were provided on Sunday. “FOPE will be holding a flotilla on August 11,” stated Sarah Witney.

Dragon Boat participants from away were not the only people singing the praises of Pugwash and its HarbourFest. “My wife Nancy and I come to this event every year,” stated Cumberland North Liberal candidate Terry Farrell. “Pugwash has such a great community spirit,” he added. “The village really pulls together.”

Similarly, PC leader Jamie Baillie, the MLA for Cumberland South, believes that HarbourFest has evolved into one of Nova Scotia’s greatest festivals. “It’s just great to be here at one of Nova Scotia’s greatest festivals,” stated Baillie. “People from all over the county are here to support the volunteers who put this event on.”

Dry land activities such as Disc Golf (across from 371 Miller Road, Pugwash) was also held. Benjamin Smith won the first annual disc golf challenge, an event that he plans on putting on each year in conjunction with Pugwash HarbourFest.

“Each year, we would like to build and grow this great tradition,” added Vaters.

Geographic location: PUGWASH, U.S., Germany Dartmouth Lake Banook Nova Scotia Pugwash-Tatamagouche Cumberland South 371 Miller Road

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  • Eleanor Ripley-Barrow
    July 31, 2013 - 16:16

    Thanks for writing such a positive article. I was on the Pugwash HarbourFest Steering Committee for 2013. I know the hours and hours that went into the planning . The bottom line is an outdoor event is at the mercy of Mother Nature. This year we were challenged for sure! After I read your comments I felt reassured that although our Committee faced some last minute decisions because of the weather, this Festival was supported by some very wonderful people. Thanks!