Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Brunswick & Nova Scotia celebrate anniversaries, too!

Loyalist Landing 2008, Nova Scotia

Quebec and British Columbia aren't the only places in Canada celebrating major anniversaries this year. Quebec City's 400th and BC's 150th have resulted in year-long celebrations.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are also throwing a year-long celebration -- for the 225th anniversary of the United Empire Loyalists landing.

Following the Revolutionary War, 3,000 Loyalists fled to Shelburne, Nova Scotia while others continued on to New Brunswick. The population quickly swelled to 10,000, making Shelburne the fourth largest city in North America. Nearby Birchtown became Canada’s first free black settlement.

This summer, Shelburne is hosting three weekends of boat races, tall ship tours, treasure hunts, concerts and fireworks. A re-enactment on July 17 features 500 costumed characters. Visitors who aren't into playing soldier can get in the spirit at the annual provincial Town Crier Competition or attend the Loyalist Garden Party, complete with a pageant of 18th century dress.

From June through August, Nova Scotia will commemorate the 250th anniversary of Louisbourg’s second siege. The Fortress of Louisbourg will host a series of encampments (with North America’s first nighttime siege re-enactment) and military displays (July 25-27). The three-day celebration includes fireworks, parades, chowder cook-offs, street dances, concerts and quilt displays.

Lobsterpalooza 2008 is Cape Breton's newest festival -- and it's 185 miles long. Running from May 25-June 30, it's 35 days of feasts and fun including lobster suppers, whale watching tours and Gaelic music.

If you're not a lobster fan, there are also mussels, clams, oysters and crab.