Land and see renewed festival
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.