Tag Archives: Chester

Woah – Slow Down There, Horsey

There are still lots of festivals that I’m going to be writing about, but I’m really getting way ahead of myself, and this coming weekend is such a big one with the Pirates & Mermaids it really doesn’t feel right to talk about any other festivals. So I’m just going to take a brief hiatus and dip my toes into the sea of live theatre.

This is going to take us to three different communities within the Bluenose Coast/Lighthouse Route that I love so madly. It seems I should start closest to home, in Lunenburg, but instead I’ll move from Halifax down the coast. Please understand that there are plenty of live stage performances throughout the South Shore, and this listing of three which will follow are by no means your only opportunity to enjoy some truly excellent live theatre.

So let’s just plunge in (I know – I said I was only going to dip my toes in, but it’s so intoxicating I can’t help myself .. I need to be fully submerged … I’m apparently quite susceptible to the sirens’ cry — good thing I didn’t follow my Faroese grandfather’s footsteps and captain a fishing ship, hey?).

Right. Full submersion here we go: the first stop we’ll make on my theatrical journey along the Bluenose Coast is the Hamlet of Chester. Just the name, right? It’s one of those things: the Hamlet of Chester. Sounds magical, quaint. The hamlet is, in fact, beyond quaint. One things that makes it great is the Kiwi Cafe – Linda Flinn is the world’s best and she stems from New Zealand (have to put in a plug for a fellow Kiwi!). Her food is absolutely fantastic and so is her Cafe. You’ll need to stop there, no denying it. And directly across the street is The Chester Playhouse. There are shows here all year round, and the variety of shows is incredible. Amateur to professional, music, dance, theatre, film .. the list, as many of my lists seem to do, goes on & on. Among the performances this summer are: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown; Stripes, the Mystery Circus; Guys & Dolls Jr., The Vestibule of Heaven (film); Deep Water (film); Andrew White (music); 25th Anniversary Cabaret of Music, Theatre, Dance and more …. wherever it is your live arts bone lies you’ll certainly find something at the Chester Playhouse this summer to tickle it.

Our next stop will be just up the road from our hostel, in Lunenburg. The Pearl Theatre too hosts many different live performances of all shapes and sizes. The theatre itself is a bit smaller than the Playhouse, but the performances will fill your soul just as much. It is located within HB Studios (one of the gems in Lunenburg’s Crown … but we’ll talk about that another day … okay, all you gamers? Yes, Gamers. Google it. You’ll see what I’m talkin’ ’bout.) and the performances are changing all the time. There are usually one or two biggies in the summer, and of course it is used extensively for the Folk Harbour Festival and many of the other musical events hosted in Lunenburg. Boxwood Festival is using it as well.

Our final stop will take us into Liverpool and BOY can I chat about Liverpool, because there’s lots there do see and do (..did someone say Outhouse Museum? Oh yes. They sure did.). Nestled in Liverpool is The Astor Theatre which has, not only many live performances throughout the year, but also a regular film schedule. Harry Potter Part 7 Part 2 is even showing there, so it’s not just obscure films not everyone is interested in. But every Wednesday night there are films which are not shown in every massive movie theatre in the world … it’s when you get to see some of the less commercialised movies which always end up being the ones to sneak in the backdoor at those big film awards and snatch the Oscars from the big budget bugaboos. (I don’t even know what that is – a big budget bugaboo .. it just sounds right and hopefully portrays the slight snear I am intending when I talk about those big budget .. well .. bugaboos.)

So my kids are pestering me for the computer, so I’d better stop talking to you. I hope I’ve peaked your interest a bit … there is so much down here for you to come and experience, but it isn’t just the big drawing cards which are worth a visit. Good things come in small packages. They really do. And these three small packages are far and away better than the biggest present under the tree on Christmas morning.

So you fancy those Pacific Islands, do you?

Nova Scotia has many islands worth a visit – too many for me to list all of them: some you need your own boat to get to — others you can get to by ferry (Brier Island); by tour (Henry Island); rent a kayak and paddle there (too many to mention!), drive there over a causeway (Isle Madame and Cape Breton Island) or even walk there at low tide (Micou’s Island).

The South Shore has many islands itself, and so today I thought I’d mention some of them. Some you can visit, some are protected. One of my sisters and her husband go and visit many more of our islands regularly – sometimes by kayak, sometimes by motor boat. If only I could take an excerpt from her brain and instal it here, you’d have more colour and nature and beauty than you could shake a stick at (always one of the weider expressions, in my opinion. I mean – you could shake a stick at any amount couldn’t you? ..weird)

There is, of course, Cross Island which you can see if you stand in Blue Rocks and look out to see. Not too far from shore, there is an old lighthouse there, and a few old cabins still used by locals who spend their time off in the summer there (locals love it so much here in Lunenburg County we don’t go far from home vacation time comes around — okay, there are certainly plenty of people who travel far and wide, but as many or more who stay put).

Sheep, Flat, Southwest & Shut-In Islands are easily kayakable, and some local tour companies actually offer kayaking tours to these islands.

Westhaver Island is actually just around the corner from us. The beach is a walk away (just over 1km) and you can see the island quite clearly from the shore (it’s not the HUGE island with the monstrous house perched atop it, it’s the lovely little one with the lighthouse). Like many of the islands around here, it’s lighthouse was not always automated … and when you see how tiny the island is you’ll find it incredible someone once lived on it. The original lighthouse is now gone, having been destroyed by fire in 1887. A new lighthouse was built, and the lighthouse keeper was moved into the oil storage building where the lighthouse keepers continued to live until 1921 when it became automated. The old wooden structure was finally replaced with steel in 1948 and fibreglass in 1945. While this island is only a stone’s throw from shore (okay, maybe a bit further) you can no longer visit it because it is a tern nesting site. The island needing mentioning, though, because it’s history is kinda cool.

Big Tancook Island is definitely worth a visit as well, and there are ferries from Chester each day to take you there. It has one of the few remaining one room schoolhouses still in operation. It’s not a crowded touristy place – it’s just lovely instead. Hiking & biking trails, lots of birdlife, fossils and geocaching. It’s a unique little island well worth a visit.

If you’re not into sea kayaking to visit islands you can always try rowing or canoeing on a lake! Lake Mush-A-Mush has plenty of islands worth visiting, and the water it crystal clear and soo refreshing!

Come and have a look at our islands: one of the many reasons to come down to the South Shore a stay for more than a day.

Hey! So tomorrow’s Canada Day, Eh?

What are your plans? If you’re in Canada you might as well celebrate, right? Because it’s really just one big party that is needing YOU to join in. The city, I’m sure, has lots going on, and it’ll be packed to the gunnels and be quite the riot. If you’re looking for riotous fun with a bit less of a crowd, then head down this way por favor. There’s lots (& lots) going on in Chester, Western Shore, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, New Germany, Bridgewater … pretty much every little community is having huge celebrations and you’ll never guess what? YOU are invited to each and every one.

If you’re wanting a country-bumkin, ox-pulling, Beverley Hillbillies type of party; or perhaps farmers markets, crafts galore, live music and lots of delicious treats kind of a day; or a chill out on the river’s edge, kiddie rides, craft tables, face painting, seriously awesome all-day live music and a truly wow-tastic display of fireworks? Whatever type of day you want, we’ve got it. Some come on down …. EVERYONE can celebrate the big day in a big city, but only you are invited to celebrate a Nova Scotia Country Canada Day with all the locals and the magic we have to offer… we’ll weave you into our spell and you’ll find you are quite unable to leave.

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