Land and see re­newed fes­ti­val

The Queens County Advance - - FEATURE - By Nick Moase

Dust off your shark fish­ing gear. The 9th An­nual Queens County SeaFest is tak­ing place this week­end (Aug. 21-23) at the Brook­lyn Ma­rina.

Chair Clair Chan­dler says the week­end in­volves fun for the whole fam­ily, with lots of ac­tiv­i­ties for all age groups.

“It’s a great time to come to Queens Co. It’s one of the events peo­ple ac­tu­ally book their hol­i­day around.”

This year’s lineup of en­ter­tain­ment is al­most all lo­cally pro­vided as well, some­thing she says the com­mu­nity has asked for. A li­censed En­ter­tain­ment Tent will be on site.

The mother of four and grand­mother of two loves work­ing with youth, and de­cided with other event vol­un­teers it was time SeaFest in­cluded them in the cel­e­bra­tions. That’s where the idea for “ Youth Rocks,” spon­sored by On-Line Sup­port, fits in, as detailed in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing ar­ti­cle.

“Every­one gives them a hard time, but they’re such won­der­ful peo­ple,” says Chan­dler.

On Sat., SeaFest is host­ing an Out­door Crafter’s Mar­ket, with all sorts of unique booths of ev­ery­thing from sea glass works to bas­ket weav­ing.

There will be plenty of food for the hun­gry masses as well. The Kins­men and Ki­wa­nis clubs are set­ting up their booths, and Queens Fit­ness Cen­tre is dish­ing out pizza dur­ing the week­end. On Sat. night St. An­drews is host­ing a church sup­per, and Sun. the fes­ti­val is hold­ing the Veinot’s Print Planked Sal­mon Sup­per.

The Cole Ford Sales Row For Char­ity’s prize this year is a “Back Yard BBQ Bash” with the win­ners keep­ing the bar­be­cue. Nu­mer­ous Row teams are now sell­ing tick­ets for $5 each with the pro­ceeds go­ing to the winning team’s char­ity.

Brook­lyn Shore Rd will be closed off to traf­fic dur­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties, but there will be plenty of park­ing by Bowa­ter and Brook­lyn Power. Cole Ford will pro­vide a shut­tle be­tween the park­ing lots and ma­rina.

The high­light of SeaFest is, of course, the Fish­ing Derby. About 150 fish­er­men gather from all over Nova Sco­tia, and head out at the crack of dawn. The com­pe­ti­tion is to see who can catch the largest shark, ground­fish and mack­erel, with prizes avail­able in adult and youth cat­e­gories.

This year, Chan­dler says they are go­ing to try and keep all fish­er­men that are still on the wa­ter in­formed about what the largest catch is. That way, if some­thing smaller is caught it can be re­leased rather than hauled to shore.

Also this year, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Dept. of Fisheries are com­ing down to help with judg­ing du­ties.

The Bed­ford In­sti­tute of Oceanog­ra­phy is send­ing a few sci­en­tists up to study what’s caught as well.

“It’s not only a fish­ing tour­na­ment, it’s a re­search op­por­tu­nity too.”

Ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal fish­er­men, the sharks are abun­dant this year, so it should make for some good catches, she adds.

SeaFest is also sell­ing its own chum this year, which Chan­dler de­scribes as a spe­cial mix­ture of “Stinky, oily fish’, to at­tract the sharks.

Regis­tra­tion for the SeaFest fish­ing derby starts this Wed­nes­day, at $35 for adults and $15 for youth. Reg­is­ter­ing gets one a spot in the fish­ing derby, a SeaFest cap, and en­try into the con­tests go­ing on through­out the week­end.

This year, some peo­ple with boats are mak­ing space avail­able for those that don’t have boats. Also, Ver­non d’Eon Lob­ster Plugs is rent­ing shark rods for those without any.

There was some ques­tion about whether SeaFest would take place af­ter the SeaFest Com­mit­tee dis­banded early in the year. How­ever Chan­dler didn’t want to see that hap­pen and took over as chair.

“For all the work every­one has put into this event, I just couldn’t see it stop even for one year. The com­mu­nity counts on it,” she says, adding it’s a big event for their club as well.

“It’s all part of tourism. If you look at how much money tourism brings into our com­mu­nity, we can’t af­ford to lose any­thing.”

SeaFest is also get­ting a boost this year, with other fes­ti­val com­mit­tees lend­ing a hand in or­ga­ni­za­tion. In the past few years, Chan­dler says the fes­ti­vals of Queens Co. have pulled to­gether to share re­sources. This, she says, has some great ben­e­fits.

“One of the things that hap­pened when run­ning a vol­un­teer event is we have a lot will­ing to give a few hours of their time dur­ing the event, but we’re re­ally short on com­mit­tee leaders. This way, we have peo­ple we can fall back on, and we can share our re­sources.”

Fish­ing, food, mu­sic and over­all fam­ily ori­en­tated fun will be fea­tured Aug. 21-23 at the An­nual Queens County SeaFest. A spe­cial fo­cus on youth of all ages is also fea­tured.

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