‘It’s a community effort’
Along the Shores of Washabuck provides something for everyone
Gerard MacNeil always dreamed of having a festival for central Cape Breton.
Over the years, MacNeil had worked on projects in Victoria County and with other communities where festivals were held every year.
“I was seeing the benefits of the festivals in other communities and thought it would be a good idea to have one in Washabuck,” said MacNeil.
In 2009, MacNeil and a group of community volunteers organized Along the Shores of Washabuck, a summer festival featuring a variety of events including morning cafés, daily walks, dances and softball games to name a few.
Today, the festival continues to be successful and one the community looks forward to each year.
The ninth annual Along the Shores of Washabuck festival begins today and continues until Aug. 13 in the Victoria County community of Washabuck.
“The festival supports more then Washabuck,” said MacNeil. “It supports surrounding communities … with everybody coming home with our events and what Iona has, it gives everyone a variety of options.
“The more things that are happening in an area, the more likely you’re going to go — you don’t want to go to a place where there’s nothing going on.”
MacNeil said many of this year’s events are the same as previous years.
“We will always add something new and take something away, but there are some things you just can’t touch because they are so well received and if you took it away it would be felt,” he said.
The festival will begin with the annual kickoff dance on Friday at 9:30 p.m. at the Washabuck Community Centre. Events continue Saturday with the 5-km fun walk and run event in support of Autism Cape Breton
Notable events for the festival include the Washabuck beach day, followed by fireworks, on Sunday, the Roddie MacLean Memorial Golf Scramble at Dundee Golf Club on Tuesday as well as the family and friends and Washabuck Saints (oldtimers) softball games on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the 5-km poker walk and Washabuck Café events take place Monday to Friday, both at the Washabuck Community Centre.
“Pretty much everybody in the community has something to do with the festival — it’s a community effort,” said MacNeil. “The festival has something for everyone, we don’t just target one type of group.”
The festival will also feature four nights of live entertainment at the community centre.
Shelly Campbell and Buddy MacDonald will perform on Friday at 9:30 p.m., while Chris Murphy and The Turpin Trail will entertain residents on Monday, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Live entertainment continues on Tuesday with James MacLean and Friends performing at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Herman Wadden and The Southern Son will play on Aug. 12, beginning on 9 p.m.
For more information about the Along the Shores of Washabuck festival visit www. washabuck.com.
Chrissy MacNeil, centre, holds the brochure for the annual Along the Shores of Washabuck festival along with members of the organizing committee Gerard MacNeil and Dayna MacNeil. This year’s festival begins today and continues until Aug. 13 in Washabuck.