CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – Long time beachcomber Stephanie Anthony started the Seaglass Festival in September 2019 and has continued to grow the Campobello Island event since.
The festival started as a one weekend event. Now, events are carried out throughout September on Campobello Island.
Anthony described the 2019 festival as a soft launch.
“We kind of rolled with it,” she said. “It still overwhelmed the island.”
After the success of the first Seaglass Festival despite coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony extended the events to last throughout the month.
With four weekends instead of just one, Anthony can offer more guided beachcomber tours and other events, while alleviating the stress of fitting everything into one weekend put onto small event spaces.
The Seaglass Festival is a valuable tool used to extend the high tourism season in the area and for Campobello.
Born and raised in Campobello, Anthony didn’t start beachcombing until she moved back to the island about 20 years ago. Since then, she’s come to know the beaches on the island as if they were her own backyard.
“There’s so many wonderful trails and paths,” she said. “But I just can’t get off the beaches.”
The festival blossomed from Anthony’s idea to share Campobello’s beaches with others interested in sea glass.
“Sea glass is huge now worldwide. It’s really picked up,” she said. “I just thought everyone was going to love it as much as I do, and I was right.”
Seaglass September has been incredibly successful this year, according to Anthony. Crystal Richard at East Coast Mermaid sponsored printed maps with the beaches that Anthony has personally explored.
Maps can be picked up at Campobello Island Gift Shop for no expense.
“I want people to make it their own,” said Anthony.
Although one or two guided beachcombing tours will be offered each weekend throughout September, those interested also have the option of guiding their own tours with Anthony’s map.
To kick off the month of sea glass centred events, Anthony arranged a bonfire for fellow beachcombers and enthusiasts at Pollock Cove Seaside Retreat. The evening was spent roasting marshmallows and watching whales as they passed by in the water directly next to them.
Since hosting this month-long festival, Anthony has welcomed a mix of attendees. From families to girl’s trip groups and folks with their pups, the festival has attracted a healthy mix of the community.
The pop-up market hosted each weekend is the perfect retreat for visitors when the high tide pushes them off the beaches.
This year’s festival included Anthony’s first ever craft demonstration. On the back deck of the Campobello Island Public Library where Anthony has worked for 20 years, she held a sea glass suncatcher craft demo.
“Campobello is worth the hassle. It’s a part of the adventure,” said Anthony, encouraging neighbouring communities to check out the island. To help guide visitors’ adventures, Anthony created a set of six choose your own adventure cards.
“The focus is always on beachcombing,” said Anthony. The week-by-week schedule is made according to weather and requires no registration or ticket purchase. Maps can be acquired at the Campobello Island Gift House.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/CampobelloIslandSeaglassFestival.