Posted by KiwiKaboodle on 25 July 2011
… less of a festival, and more of a right of passage, the South Shore Exhibition is something I have heard people talk about since I was a child. I went to Camp Mush-A-Mush for a week each summer, and all the kids from down Lunenburg way all talked about The Big Ex and it sounded so exotic.
Now that I live here it is a yearly tradition for me and my children. The six day event is packed chock full of every kind of country fun you can possibly imagine. Starting with a big street parade on Tuesday (yikes! today!!) at 6pm (hey: and this parade? It gives out free candy .. yahoo! Who (but a like-minded parent) doesn’t want loads of free candy?
But that’s not all. Oh no, that’s not all at all. Live music up the ying yang; barrel races; strong man competition; oxen and horse pulls; steer riding rodeo; oh my heavens there’s even more! There’s the small petting barn; the 4H barn where you can view loads of animals and projects prepared or reared (depending on what you’re looking at) by local kids. [Our eldest daughter, Shani, won first prize last year for a papier mache bowl she made. She's not entering this year, but there are loads of other kids entering their beautiful projects and they're well worth seeing.] But wait! There is still more!!! Dora the Explorer is apparently coming to visit. And there’s still the rides .. oh my, who can forget the rides? All the awesome rides with the game guys trying to get you to spend your money on games which ‘ga-run-tee a winnah every time’. There’s snow cones, popcorn, ice cream, pizza, hotdog & fries, cowboy hats, craft tables .. on and on and on. It’s something unlike any of the big city events you’ve been to, and I politely suggest you stop by and check things out. From our little hostel it is only a 20 minute drive — and if you don’t choose backpacking as a place to lay your head at night (but if you don’t .. why don’t you? Check it out – sleep in total comfort with good people for very little money) there are plenty of other choices for accommodation down here in Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.
Come one, come all .. you’ll have the time of your life …. or at least the time of your visit to Nova Scotia.
Posted by KiwiKaboodle on 25 July 2011
So it’s been ages. I had this great blog done all about the most awesome Pirate Festival coming up in Mahone Bay .. and then I had to rush off with the kids and my husband deleted it all! Arrrrgh! So I felt totally dejected and walked away. But I guess I’m an adult, so I’d better just jump back on board here, right?
As I had mentioned in the past, there was once a Wooden Boat Festival in Mahone Bay. Over the past few years it has had a couple changes, first to the Classic Boat Festival, and then to the Pirate Festival & Regatta. I believe I also mentioned how incredibly, undeniably appropriate a pirate festival was for Mahone Bay. Why? Where can I even begin? Legends of pirate treasure abound in this neck of the woods (this leg of the ocean?) .. Oak Island where people still to this day are looking for hidden treasure. A convaluted story starting with an American Privateer ship named The Teazer which was captured by the Brits in 1812, the Captain took an oath to never again bear arms against the King to save his neck (literally) and returned to the US of A .. only to receive another letter of mark in 1813 to recommence his privateering days. (the life of a pirate ♪) She was instantly successful and therefore instantly sought out by the Brits. On her last attempt to flee the Brits she sailed into our little piece of heaven, attempting to use the many islands of Mahone Bay as cover .. alas, it didn’t work and before the ship could be capture the captain caught his ship on fire and the day ended with an incredibly dramatic explosion from all the munitions aboard. Wow. The ship still haunts the harbour, and part of the festival is the reinactment of the Young Teazer’s final journey ……….. although instead of munitions the light fireworks instead, which makes for a very happy ending indeed. Goodness I could go on and on, but let’s just leave it at this: Mahone Bay is, quite simple, The Perfect Setting for a festival involving pirates.
There is so much jam-packed into this weekend, and it is this very weekend. The one coming up. (Ahh! I’m so excited! I love this festival!!) You’ve got to be here. You just do. There are boat races, crafts for kids, pirates all though town (under strict contact NOT to do any pillaging or .. uh .. other things pirates are so famous for). And that’s not all. Mermaids. Does the thought of a mermaid make your imagination start to sing they way it does mine? Mr. Langille, across the road from us, he has mermaids in his pond and my kids often watch him when he goes to feed them. But they’re rather shy mermaids. A real mermaid is coming to the Pirate Festival, and she’s going to make every child’s day. Raina, the mermaid, will be visiting our fine shores, and surely you can’t miss that. I’ve seen the foam on the ocean, which my grandmother (from the Faroe Islands) always told me came from mermaids once they had died. But never have I had a chance to meet a real one. There’s no way anyone can keep me away … surely you won’t stay away either.
Come to Mahone Bay and experience what is perhaps the most awesome festival of the summer … it’s a very close tie between this and the Folk Harbour Festival coming up in August in Lunenburg.
Music makes my heart beat, but pirates & mermaids make it sing …