Tag Archives: What to do in Lunenburg

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.

Idadi Mbili

So, Festivals hey? There are one or two happening here. If I take 25 seconds to think I’ll come up with a dozen or so.

For many, many years Mahone Bay hosted the Wooden Boat Festival. In 2006 they decided to change the name to the Mahone Bay Classic Boat Festival to “better reflect the community’s seacoast heritage”. Finally (finally? We don’t know yet I guess) it changed its name once more, in 2010 to the Mahone Bay Pirate Festival. How fitting! A great idea, I reckon, but I’ll be chatting about that more on another day.

In 2011 Lunenburg picked up where Mahone Bay left off, and they are hosting the Lunenburg Wooden Boat Reunion on 23 & 24 July, 2011. And how remarkably fitting, with three (count them: one, two, three) wooden boats currently being built on the Lunenburg waterfront!

With the Bluenose II rebuild happening in the background, you will have the opportunity to watch traditional sloops and schooners race … to watch the parade of sail … board several of the schooners … meet the skippers … incredible, right? But wait: there’s more!

The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is one of the major sponsors of this event (the “key” sponsor, I do believe), and they are turning it from an incredible event to a spectacular one, providing musical entertainment, storytelling, children’s activities, demonstrations by marine artisans of boatbuilding, model making, sail making, wire splicing, casting and rope work … Great Scott! The list just goes on and on! Seriously, there is too much to list without just copying it all word-for-word from their facebook site. So why don’t you just go there and read about it … and while you’re reading about it check out of some of the photos of the awe inspiring wooden boats which will be making an appearance during the Festival. Sweet. Here it is: http://www.facebook.com/LunenburgWoodenBoatReunion?sk=wall#!/LunenburgWoodenBoatReunion?sk=info

Wow. Long name, amazing results (ha! see? that’s a local joke that is … get it? Anyone? Hello?? I know you’re there, I can hear you breathing…)

Anyway, as I’ve said mony’a time before, there is so much here for you to plunge yourself into! I’m not entirely sure why people are being directed elsewhere, I guess because the rest of the province knows once you land your feet here and start looking around you’ll just want to spend your whole time here. So break the mold, why don’t you? Come here first: Your experiences will be unique. Uniquely Nova Scotian. Try it .. you’ll like it.


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