Fish, Fun and Folk Festival
By Jim Hildebrand
Some people may not know how to figure out when the Twillingate/New World Island Fish, Fun and Folk Festival is held but it is easy to calculate year after year. The festival always runs from Monday to Sunday with the Sunday always being the last Sunday in the month of July.
There are people from away who specifically take their holidays to include the week long soiree so with this in mind they would know to book their campsite or hotel room this year from the 25th to the 31st of July (or even later as the Isles of Notre Dame are a prime spot for vacationers if they want to stay awhile longer).
The Fish, Fun and Folk Festival is in its 31st year and was one of the first of this type of festivals in Newfoundland. Still going strong, it is always highly attended and fills its role as a method to make Twillingate a tourist destination and preserve the rich culture and heritage while having a hockey sock full of fun.
Event coordinator Sharon Anstey and her committee have lined up even more exciting acts and events for this years celebration. Regardless she could always use more volunteers to help.
“Right now there are 16 of us on the committee,” she said. “We would certainly like to see more business people as they would give us extra business sense that would certainly be welcome in the decision making.
“The festival is a community effort where everyone will benefit and of course more hands make less work.”
Events for everyone
Monday, July 25 will be a family fun day at the Twillingate Ballfield and later in the evening the annual lighting of the sign will take place. No entertainment has been scheduled for this evening so that everyone has time to take in the numerous concession stands. Ms. Anstey is pleased that they have 45 vendors booked for the stadium already and more on a waiting list.
Tuesday is the Seniors Day that takes place at the Hospital Pond and the Meet and Greet later in the night.
The Ashbourne Lower Trade store was moved from its location at Oxford's Lane Durrell to Churchill Beach, Gillesport on June 9 (see June 22 issue of The Pilot for more coverage from this event). The structure will now be prepared to float by attaching barrels.
After July 1, when the Isles Wooden Boat Building Committee feels that the tides, wind and weather are at its best, the decision will be made to tow the store across the water to Snellin's Cove, Twillingate. This will be done in one day. From Snellin's Cove the Lower Trade will be hauled by tractor to approximately 150 to 200 yards from the final destination.
The final distance will be completed on July 27. Tourists and residents will be able to man the ropes to haul the building the old fashion way to the spot where it will later be renovated into a multipurpose boat building museum and meeting room.
To man the ropes and be part of the haul a waiver will have to be signed. Only those people 18 years old and older will be allowed to participate although there will be time set aside for younger people to hold the ropes for a photo opportunity.
The Wooden Boat Building Committee is hoping that at the time of the waiver signing that the participants will be able to make a donation towards the renovations. The manning of the ropes will be done on a first come, first on the rope basis.
Wednesday will also feature a gospel concert hosted by the Twillingate Salvation Army and the announcement of the winner of the Extreme Makeover Contest. A scavenger hunt is also planned for this day.
Thursday is the day for everyone to enjoy the annual Festival Parade and the official opening ceremonies. A craft fair will be opening at the George Hawkins Memorial Arena and in the evening the first of the major concerts will commence featuring the band the Irish Descendants. This East Coast Music and Juno Award winning band will surely have a few toes tapping in the evening. Watch the festival website for updates on where to get your tickets.
Friday’s entertainment starts with local artist Karen Churchill in the arena. At 7 p.m. the musical group Ennis will take the stage and perform. Again the entertainers are ECMA and Juno Award winners and should provide an evening of exceptional music. At 10 p.m. the Festival street dance begins with time for the fireworks at 10:30 p.m.
Saturday features a children’s magic show at the arena with Phillip and Henry. Also the Split Peas will be playing at the Northeast Church Heritage Museum. The Outport Square Dancers from Fogo Island will be performing at the Arena. This new group featuring live music with accordians and 14-16 dancers is excited to be playing at the festival. At night there will be an adult dance at the arena featuring the band Blue Eyed Blonde.
Sunday will be the closing with a festival church service.
There is an abundance of activities for young and old as well as food and teas scattered throughout the festival. Schedules will become available prior to the festival and will also be found in The Twillingate Sun, an added supplement to The Pilot for the festival. More details are also available at fishfunfolkfestival.com. Residents and tourist can’t miss finding something that will entertain during this week of festivities. Again the committee asks that if you are interested in volunteering to assist that helping hands are always welcome.