Big Wave big deal
Man recalls naming popular local event.
So, what’s in a name? A lot if you are a six-year-old.
David Timmins, 24, recalls the excitement of naming his community’s annual festival as a Grade 1 student at Boularderie School.
“It was a pretty big deal for a six-year-old. They gave me a card with $5 which I probably spent at Bain’s Store,” he said with a smile.
Growing up five minutes away from Factory Wharf in his home community of Big Bras d’Or, coming up with the name “Big Wave” seemed pretty simple at the time.
“My dad Brian and my granddad Harvey Timmins both fish out of Factory Wharf, so I guess off and on, I spent time around the water.”
These days Timmins works as a deckhand on the Yvette & Lise during lobster season and on the Bi’s Di’s during crab season.
“I was just a kid and I remember jotting down names until I finally wrote down something I liked and thought was catchy.”
Each year community groups hold activities on consecutive days throughout the community to create the week-long summer festival.
The Big Wave Summer Festival originated from Boularderie Island Thyme, a one-day affair held at Boularderie School. Discussions in the community prompted the development of an organizing committee. The decision was made to have community organizations hold their own events as a way to raise money and feature the main event, Big Wave Day, at Factory Wharf as the festival finale.
Over the years Timmins recalls missing only two of the Big Wave Days at Factory Wharf. The final day features a poker run, live entertainment, children’s activities and plenty of delicious food offerings including rolls stuffed with lobster.
“As kids in the community we were spread over quite a few kilometres, so this brought quite a few of us together.”
Timmins and his wife Jessica have two children, Lily, who is two and a half, and three-monthold Marek.
Timmins said the summer festival is a big part of the community.
“Having groups hold their own events along with Big Wave Day helps keep everything going. It’s also a good way to celebrate the end of the lobster fishing season.”
Festivities begin on Sunday at 9 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, followed by a kite-making workshop Monday, 1-3 p.m. and a merchandise bingo Tuesday at 7 p.m. All three events are at the Big Bras d’Or fire hall.
St. John’s United Church will host a strawberry tea and sale Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m. and world music drumming is at 7 p.m. at the Big Bras d’Or fire hall.
Kite-flying and a weenie roast will take place Thursday from 79 p.m. at Factory Wharf.
Saturday, July 25 is Big Wave Day beginning with registration for the poker run at 10 a.m. Lifejackets and seats are available on local boats.
“A lot of people plan their vacations around festival week so they can take in some of the community events,” said Timmins. “I have two aunts, one from Ontario and one from Halifax, and they always come down with their families. On Big Wave Day there are barbecues going, lots of music, the poker run and the popular lobster rolls.”
Depending on the weather, he hopes to take his young son on the poker run.
“It (Factory Wharf) goes from being a smelly worksite to being a nice community gathering place,” said Timmins, looking over the boats docked at the wharf. “A lot of work happens to make sure everything is shipshape for Big Wave Day.”
Local fisherman David Timmins is seen at Factory Wharf in Big Bras d’Or. The wharf will be transformed over the next week to make way for Big Wave Day, Saturday, July 25 — the final day of the Big Wave Summer Festival.