‘It’s a com­mu­nity ef­fort’

Along the Shores of Washabuck pro­vides some­thing for every­one

Cape Breton Post - - News | Northside/Cape Breton - BY JEREMY FRASER

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.

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRETON POST

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.

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