They’re back

Port Morien re­vives Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val af­ter five-year break.

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE

There will be new faces in Port Morien Satur­day and crowds will be go­ing to see them.

Af­ter a five-year break, the pop­u­lar Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val is back in Port Morien, as part of the Morien Mem­o­ries cel­e­bra­tions.

Yvonne Kennedy, co­or­di­na­tor, said they use to hold the Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val ev­ery year but five years ago - af­ter do­ing it for 25 years - it was felt it was too much work to do it ev­ery year.

“We had a meet­ing and de­cided to hold it ev­ery five years, to co­or­di­nate it with Morien Mem­o­ries. “

The Morien Mem­o­ries fes­ti­val is only held ev­ery five years.

“Morien Mem­o­ries is suc­cess­ful as ev­ery­one away knows when to plan their va­ca­tion. Peo­ple can’t af­ford to come home all the time.”

Kennedy said the Sum­mer Peo­ple fes­ti­val starts Satur­day, July 25, and con­tin­ues through Morien Mem­o­ries, which runs July 30 un­til Au­gust 5.

Kennedy ac­tu­ally came up with the idea for the Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val about 30 years ago.

A mem­ber of the Port Morien De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, Kennedy said the com­mit­tee was look­ing for an idea for a sum­mer fes­ti­val.

“New Water­ford has Coal Dust Days, Glace Bay has Bay Days and some peo­ple have lob­ster fes­ti­vals. We wanted to have some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

At the time Kennedy had just come back from vis­it­ing the scare­crow fes­ti­val in Cheticamp and felt it would be a per­fect fit for Port Morien.

She put a no­tice in the com­mu­nity bul­letin, ask­ing peo­ple to make char­ac­ters. Res­i­dents jumped on board. Ev­ery year the fes­ti­val grew un­til most of the vil­lage was in­volved as well as res­i­dents through­out Black Brood, Wad­den’s Cove and South Head.

“It was al­ways so suc­cess­ful,” she said.

Peo­ple came from across Cape Bre­ton to view the dis­plays, tourists would be di­rected to it, even the cruise ship pas­sen­gers.

“Need­less to say the im­ages of our sum­mer peo­ple are now all over the world. “

Kennedy said Theresa Wad­den of Port Morien, a re­tired school teacher, re­ally goes be­yond.

“She is very artis­tic, she cre­ates life-sizes sea crea­tures and other char­ac­ters.”

Kennedy said some dis­plays are al­ready up.

“Stan Wad­den has a huge pi­rate ship that he built. He re­ally out­did him­self.”

Kennedy was also ready for the fes­ti­val Wed­nes­day with a sum­mer char­ac­ter hold­ing a bucket with a sign, ‘Col­lect­ing do­na­tions for Mike Duffy’s le­gal fees.’

“I al­ways make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment,” she added.

She said, how­ever, prior to the fes­ti­val kick­ing off, peo­ple’s cre­ations usu­ally be­come the bestkept se­crets in the vil­lage.

“Peo­ple won’t say what their sum­mer per­son - or scene is - un­til it’s out in their yard. Ev­ery­one re­ally en­joys it.”

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST Yvonne Kennedy, right, Wad­den’s Cove, puts the fin­ish­ing touches on her Sum­mer Peo­ple dis­play, which takes a jab at Mike Duffy’s le­gal trou­bles, while show­ing it to Jean Ross of Mira, a let­ter car­rier for Canada Post. The Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val kicks off Satur­day.

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST

A huge pi­rate ship sits on the front lawn of Stan Wad­den of Port Morien, as res­i­dents pre­pare for the Sum­mer Peo­ple Fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val is back for the first time in five years.

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