Like many other community fairs coming out the COVID-19 global pandemic, organizers of Pugwash’s HarbourFest were unsure how things would go in 2022 as people began to emerge from the imposed isolation and restrictions.
While many of the popular events went forward and those who attended had fun, numbers were a little lower and people seemed hesitant to congregate in large numbers. That should be much different this year as HarbourFest returns for its 17th edition with many events returning, along with a few new ones.
“We’re almost set to go,” host committee member Gillian Forward said. “HarbourFest is all about bringing the community together, not just during HarbourFest, but throughout the year. We’re really looking forward to this year and getting back to where we were with a big event that brings people to the Pugwash area and gives people here something to celebrate.”
HarbourFest runs from Friday, July 28, to Saturday, July 30, and features events on the water as well as in Eaton Park and the Harbourfront Theatre as well as at other locations in and around the village.
“We’re really excited about a couple of our new events,” Forward said. “We’re adding log rolling this year at Dinghy Beach. It’s quite a challenge, standing on a floating key log while attempting to knock off your opponents. It should be a lot of fun.”
Also new are sand up paddle board races while the canoe jousting competition and the Sinkers Conference Boat Race are both returning. Sinkers Conference is a cardboard boat race where participants create their own boats using cardboard boxes and lots (and lots) of duct tape.
These events are all on Saturday, July 29 with the paddle board races at 10:30 a.m., Sinkers Conference at 11 a.m., canoe jousting at 4 p.m. and log rolling at 5 p.m.
Something else that’s new is a sandcastle competition.
Other mainstays returning for 2023 include the 5K Salt Dash Run at 9 a.m. on the 29th as well as beach volleyball beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Yoga in the Park is occurring again this year on July 30 at 9 a.m. the Family Fun Zone is also back this year.
On the arts and culture side, the details of an Alan Syliboy art exhibit are still being worked out while Art in the Park will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 29 at Eaton Park and the Peace Hall art show and sale runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Peace Hall. Art on the Line is happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as is the Tie A Knot for Peace and Art Is All Around scavenger hunt.
Musically, the HarbourFest Dance, featuring Derailed 2.0, is at the Northumberland Community Curling Rink on Friday, July 28 and there’ll be music from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, in Eaton Park featuring the Abandoned House Band, Chris Brown Trio, Mark MacMillan Trio, the Ellis Brothers and the Russell DeCarle Trio with a fireworks finale at dusk in the park.
The weekend will also celebrate the official opening of Pugwash’s new library beginning at 1 p.m. while the farmers market will be in operation on the 29th and the open air gallery will be available for leisurely tours. Food vendors include Atomic Dog, Kiln Crust Co food trucks, Jamieson’s Food Bar and the Beer and wine garden.
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.pugwashharbourfest.ca .