The moment you roll into Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, you’ll feel a buzz. There’s a year-long Yarmouth 250 “celebration of community” and the party’s just begun.
Yarmouth is known for its historical treasures, architectural delights, and the legacy spawned by Canada’s earliest peoples, including the Mi’kmaq, Planters, Loyalists and Acadians. Toss in some stunning scenery and it’s hard to resist the lure of this region.
Already the list of community programs and special events is well over 150, and more are added every week. Parades, re-enactments, fireworks, ghost walks, amazing house tours, a shark scramble, tuna tournament — the list goes on and on.
Phil DeMille, a force behind a score of musical events over the years, has lined up 80 bands for the Coal Shed Music Festival. Mind-boggling, eh? The Minor Music Conference took place this in Yarmouth. It featured master classes, a tradeshow, song-writers workshops, concerts—and more. As well, Nova Scotia Music Week (Nov 3 to 6, 2011) is returning for the third year in a row. With over 700 delegates you can imagine the number of musical events revving up.
And where else will you find a community theatre with a playbill that offers everything from an Elvis Presley Tribute to the Maritime Concert Opera’s Madame Butterfly and the Rocky Horror Show?
Heritage teas, Acadian kitchen parties, a Geocashing long weekend and a giant rappie pie cook-off are all part of “coming home.” Oh yes, Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis will be visiting in August for a garden party to top all garden parties.
But it’s more than events. It’s all about people you’ll meet, like Ernie and Brian Williams at Stanley Lobster Co. in John’s Cove where having a steamed lobster is an event unto itself. They love to give guests details about lobsters, including how to tell the difference between a male and a female. (By the way, if you don’t know what size to order, go with a 1.5 to 2 pounder; it’s the best value for money.)
Bruce Bishop is a big fan of having steamed lobsters at Stanleys. He’s also the destination marketing coordinator for Yarmouth 250 and he’s pumped. But it doesn’t have as much to do with his job as it does with the fact that he chose to come back “home” seven years ago and waxes poetic about Yarmouth every chance he gets. For Bruce, it’s all about diversity, cultures and lifestyle. “It also has to do with the natural things that bring people here: our lakes, rivers, and a coastline with fantastic beaches,” he says.
Bruce finds that compared to other places, winters are like being in a banana belt. “But summers are warm, with cool evenings and that enveloping, sometimes frequent fog that many actually appreciate. Just come and see us; you won’t find a warmer, more hospitable people anywhere in the Maritimes. I guarantee it!” says Bruce.
I second that. You see, Yarmouth is also my home turf. Biased you say? Come see for yourself, says I. So there you go. A personal invitation from Bruce Bishop and yours truly.
For more information, visit www.yarmouth250.com
All photos © Sandra Phinney. All Rights Reserved.