New Harbour Grace festival takes flight
Event shines a light on two historic anniversaries for town
The Town of Harbour Grace hopes a new festival will get residents from the community in a celebrating mood.
The Pirates to Pilots Festival runs June 29-July 3, featuring a variety of events over the course of five days.
The theme of the festival reaches back to Harbour Grace’s history as a port where infamous pirate Peter Easton spent a considerable amount of time.
On the aviation side of things, Harbour Grace is honouring two noteworthy anniversaries. It was 85 years ago on May 20, 1932 that Amelia Earhart left the Harbour Grace Airfield to become the first female aviator to complete a solo transatlantic flight. July 2 marks the 80th anniversary of her disappearance during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
As for the local airfield, it’s celebrating its 90th anniversary. The festival will make extensive use of that location July 2 for a Canadian Operators and Pilots Association event featuring airplanes and helicopters from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It’s going to be a really spectacular show,” said Natalie Austin, the town’s economic development officer, who also serves on the festival committee.
At 3 p.m., there’ll also be an RC plane show and kite-flying event.
“We said, ‘Well, what is Harbour Grace all about? Where’s our history? Where do we come from?’ So that’s where the idea for the pirates all the way to the pilots came from, and it kind of incorporates everything in between,” said Austin.
The festival also coincides with Canada 150 celebrations
“We said, ‘Well, what is Harbour Grace all about? Where’s our history? Where do we come from?’” Natalie Austin
July 1. There will be events at St. Francis Field, the library and the Masonic Lodge, plus a fireworks display in the evening. A Memorial Day parade to honour the Battle of Beaumont Hamel takes place at 1 p.m.
There will be special events making use of the new walking trail in Bears Cove, plus others featuring food and music. A pig roast at Admirals Marina will finish off the festival July 3 at 4 p.m.
Full details about festival events can be found through the Pirates to Pilots Facebook page.
Town of Harbour Grace economic development officer Natalie Austin says the Pirates to Pilots Festival is an attempt to reach back to the atmosphere of festivals previously held in the town, while also offering something new.
The debut edition of the Pirates to Pilots Festival in Harbour Grace will in part honour the 85th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s historic transatlantic flight, which started in the Conception Bay North community.