SAINT ANDREWS – Paddlefest returns this May for its second post-pandemic year.
The music and culture festival, which runs May 18-21, kicks off the tourism season for Saint Andrews. Kingsbrae Garden and Huntsman Marine Science Centre will be opening for the season that weekend.
The main stage at Market Square will have live music in the evenings Thursday through Saturday with Ria Mae, Daniel Romano’s Outfit and Rose Cousins as event headliners. Saturday will have a lunchtime show featuring The Hypochondriacs and music will wind up on Sunday with Jah’Mila and Lil Omar performing a noontime show. Carlene, from Grand Manan, and Earthbound, from Saint Andrews, will perform as well.
In addition to the music, the Paddlefest Craft Fair will take place Saturday morning in Market Square, as will the Wharf to Wharf Run.
The craft fair “has been a key part of the festival, the last few years,” said Paddlefest creative director Luke MacDonald. There will be 20 to 25 vendors at the fair.
There will be “lots of recreational and outdoor activities and lots of community events,” continued MacDonald. “Something for everybody” is the motto of the event.
In that vein, a concert geared toward children will be held at the Huntsman.
The run is a 19K route through the town and out to Minister’s Island, timed with low tide.
Last year was the first year for the run.
“We had about 50 people,” said MacDonald, adding he’s looking forward to more participating this year.
He said there would also be a concert on the island Friday evening. Minister’s Island is another attraction that is opening for the season that weekend.
The festival will include an environmental fair at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre. Environmental organizations will set up at Sunbury Shores to talk with people about their activities and how people can get involved. A beach cleanup with the Fundy Baykeeper will be part of the activities during the weekend.
The goal, said MacDonald is “to try to raise some awareness as well as have fun.”
While not officially a fundraising event, MacDonald says they do try to give back where they can. This year, funds will be raised to support the Campobello Whale Rescue.
“We’ll have some special merchandise this year,” said MacDonald, with proceeds going to the rescue.
Information about the festival, including the schedule of events and tickets, can be found online at paddlefestnb.ca.