Tall ships sailing into Pictou Harbour

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Some new arrivals to Pictou County on Canada Day weekend will be heralded with much fanfare.

They will be grand and graceful and are expected to draw a large crowd.

Tall ships are sailing into Pictou Harbour to help local residents celebrate Canada’s 150th in style!

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The deCoste Performing Arts Centre is organizing the Tall Ships 2017 visit to the Port of Pictou from June 30 to July 2. This is the third time the deCoste Centre has organized a tall ships event for the community.

“We are thrilled that this year’s event will be part of our Canada 150 celebrations,” said Darlene MacDonald, deCoste centre manager. “It will be an amazing time.”

There are 40 ships in the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships regatta and the five that are coming to Pictou, on their way to Quebec City are: the Bluenose II, El Galeon of Spain, Gulden Leeuw of The Netherlands, and Spaniel of Latvia. A sail training vessel from Ecuador, Guayas, will also be part of the fleet.

The ships’ visit will have economic impact on the area in terms of people visiting local restaurants, staying over night, purchasing fuel, shopping, etc., and as well as being significant in terms of community development. She explained that the Pictou Fire Department is organizing fireworks at dawn on the Saturday and will then host a breakfast. The New Caledonian Curling Club will be preparing lobster burgers on Canada Day and the yacht club will be volunteering in several capacities. “It’s a real community involvement,” MacDonald praised.

The fireworks at dawn is “an exciting twist” to the event.

MacDonald explained that by hosting fireworks early in the morning, it allows people to take in all of the Canada Day festivities taking place throughout the county. “They can start with the fireworks and breakfast in Pictou, then visit the Pictou Market, head into New Glasgow for the Farmer’s Market there, enjoy the Canada Day parade in Westville then come back into Pictou to tour the tall ships.”

Entertainment on Pier C will be a big part of the Tall Ships festival.

“We will have Sheumas and Kyle from the Barra MacNeils as well as Evans & Doherty, Jimmy Sweeney, Ardyth & Jennifer, Alicia Putnam, pipe bands and other local musicians all playing Maritime music,” MacDonald said. Entertainment will be featured on all three days of the ships’ visit from 1 to 5 p.m. daily.

There will also be a kids zone, face painting, bouncy houses and more. Viewers will be invited to walk on the ships and chat with the sailors.

“It’ll all be pretty amazing,” MacDonald said. “And a spectacular site as people are crossing the causeway and seeing all of the tall ships and masts in the harbour.”

For additional information visit www.decoste.ca.

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Jackie Jardine
Jackie is a Pictou County native and proud graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. She is a writer, editor and fledgling home cook. She has been in the newspaper business for almost three decades and jokes that she started when she was in her teens! She enjoys traveling, socializing and volunteering in her community.