Writer praises Bay Roberts for seafood fes­ti­val

The Compass - - OPINION -

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Bay Roberts coun­cil and in par­tic­u­lar the spe­cial events com­mit­tee on a re­mark­able fes­ti­val held in late May.

It was my first time at­tend­ing and the level of prepa­ra­tion, the va­ri­ety of con­tent and the stan­dards of ex­e­cu­tion on so many lev­els was in­cred­i­ble and in fact a tem­plate on for other com­mu­ni­ties to em­brace.

In fact, the provin­cial Depart­ment of Tourism would be well ad­vised to reach out to you for in­put on how to struc­ture such fes­ti­vals through­out the prov­ince and the depart­ment should fi­nan­cially sup­port those ef­forts.

Us­ing var­i­ous venues was in­deed the way to go when do­ing so in­cor­po­rates us­ing ex­ist­ing at­trac­tions like the Royal Cana­dian Legion, church halls, the walk­ing trails and avail­ing of the phenom­e­nal talent of lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als such as lo­cal mu­si­cians, pro­fes­sional fish­er­men, dancers and sto­ry­tellers to men­tion a few.

Meet­ing our prov­ince’s five-star restau­rant own­ers and watch­ing re­mark­able chefs per­form their magic in front of their au­di­ences and then hav­ing the del­i­ca­cies dis­trib­uted by clean cut cheer­ful and en­thu­si­as­tic young vol­un­teers was a sight to be­hold.

People both lo­cal and tourists want to see and hear the likes of Danielle, Bil­lie, Aaron, Ron­nie, Anthony, John, Greg, Arthur, Fred, and the kids from Cather­ine’s Dance Stu­dio. They want to watch lo­cal liv­ing leg­ends, like fish­er­man Dave Parsons, demon­strate how to pre­pare a cod fish for salt­ing and how to pro­fes­sion­ally fil­let a cod in­cor­po­rat­ing all parts of the fish in­clud­ing the tongue, cheeks and even the pearls in the cod’s head.

They want to hear the lo­cal di­alects of which there are so many in this area and which are a breath of fresh air from the mo­not­o­nous same­ness so many people ex­pe­ri­ence.

Like oth­ers, I en­joy a good meal of fish and chips at a favourite restau­rant or take­out.

How­ever, it needs to be said that your fes­ti­val is not about a meal. It is about a unique lo­cal cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence which em­braces quite a cross-sec­tion of what New­found­land has to of­fer.

It is en­cour­ag­ing know­ing that people like you are tak­ing the ini­tia­tive and giv­ing of them­selves to pro­mote our great life­style and en­cour­ag­ing vol­un­tarism among our youth.

You have done your­selves and in­deed our re­gion and the prov­ince proud. You have done a truly out­stand­ing job.

Again, con­grat­u­la­tions.

— Fred Hum­ber writes from Spa­niard’s Bay

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