Bar­town Days has grown with the years

Cape Breton Post - - NORTHSIDE / VICTORIA - Dona Benac Dona Benac is a North­side res­i­dent and can be reached at dl­beb75@hot­mail.com. Her col­umn will ap­pear ev­ery sec­ond Fri­day in the North­side/Vic­to­ria page of the Cape Bre­ton Post.

What does Bar­town Days mean to you? Mem­o­ries of meet­ing friends at the block party, col­lect­ing Bar­town beer mugs, watch­ing the pa­rade or dress­ing the kids for the doll car­riage pa­rade?

Over the last 40 years the fes­ti­val has grown and changed when nec­es­sary, as venues be­came avail­able, or weather in­ter­fered, or un­for­tu­nately, as in this year, lo­ca­tions needed to be en­tirely re-routed.

Mov­ing Bar­town head­quar­ters to In­dian Beach was not with­out its headaches, but has worked out well in the long run.

To­mor­row the fes­ti­val kicks off with a straw­berry tea in Leitches Creek and con­tin­ues with daily events, end­ing next Sun­day with great ac­tiv­i­ties at In­dian Beach.

Mu­sic of all kinds has al­ways been a big fea­ture of the fes­ti­val, so check the sched­ule to see who’s play­ing. On Sun­day at 6 p.m. var­i­ous choirs and clergy will gather at the Ceno­taph for an ec­u­meni­cal ser­vice. The beau­ti­ful gar­den set­ting seems ap­pro­pri­ate for this event, and do­na­tions will be ac­cepted for the food bank. Se­niors can en­joy a night of mu­sic and danc­ing at the North Syd­ney Fire Hall on Mon­day, and Fi­nal Cut will per­form at the kick­off party on Wed­nes­day af­ter the pa­rade.

A big mu­si­cal event on Thurs­day at the Emera Cen­tre is a Song­writ­ers Cir­cle from 7-10 p.m. A $10 charge will give you an evening of great lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment. Joe Costello, Alex Mad­sen, Co­lette De­veaux, Mark Boutilier, Rob­bie Simms and Justin Val­lis are on the pro­gram. All pro­ceeds will be do­nated to char­ity.

Joe Fian­der will play at the Pen­sioner’s Hall from 8 p.m. to mid­night on Fri­day, and the Rythum Cats at In­dian Beach on Fri­day from 7-9 p.m. The Fin­ney Broth­ers will play at In­dian Beach on Satur­day from 7:309:30 p.m., and a dance at the Emera Cen­tre fea­tures High So­ci­ety and The Pri­va­teers from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

These are just the mu­si­cal events hap­pen­ing next week, many oth­ers are listed in the sched­ule, and, of course, all of these events lead up to the fi­nale con­cert at the beach, start­ing at 5:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and en­joy Pretty Archie and J.P. Cormier, no stranger to most Cape Bre­ton­ers. You’re in for an awe­some night of mu­sic, and the price is right — free. Imag­ine what you’d pay to see J.P. any­where else. You can’t get any bet­ter than that, es­pe­cially when fol­lowed by nau­ti­cal fire­works.

Pick up a copy of the Bar­town sched­ule at most down­town mer­chants or at the Bar­town of­fice at the Beach. Many thanks are due to the vol­un­teers who make this cel­e­bra­tion hap­pen each year. It takes months of meet­ings and plan­ning to or­ga­nize a week’s worth of fun and it can be ex­haust­ing. We only see the ac­tual event and think there’s noth­ing to it, but lots of headaches go into each de­tail so hats off to those few brave souls — we ap­pre­ci­ate your ef­forts.

En­joy the Fes­ti­val, fam­ily re­unions, straw­ber­ries, beaches, and what­ever the rest of the sum­mer has in store. Take Care.

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