Race on the River omitted from accolades


To the Editor:

I read the recent editorial on the 2018 Festivals in Pictou County with interest and while I applaud the general tone of the article and the identification of the success of the various festivals, I was surprised at the omission of the New Glasgow Dragon boat Festival — Race on the River from the list.

The Race on the River Festival has been an important event on the East River in New Glasgow since 2002. Since that time it has attracted over 10,000 paddlers from the Pictou community and from other parts of the province and beyond, while being supported by over 30,000 spectators. It has been substantially sponsored by the Pictou County corporate community each year and has not sought any funding from government bodies. It was and is organized by volunteers, many of whom continue to be associated with the Festival since its inception.

The support from the community in terms of donations to its three charities — Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors Society, Special Olympics Northern Region and the Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association — in the sum of over $2 million since 2002 is indicative of the marvellous generosity of the Pictou County community and its continuing interest in the event.

The Festival continues to attract paddlers from Halifax, Cape Breton, Moncton and Saint John as well as the Pictou County community and this year attracted over 600 paddlers and once again, featured a moving Pink Carnation ceremony for breast cancer survivors plus Special Olympics athletics racing in dragon boats, which again was the first in Canada for this to take place. It is a festival that Pictou County should be proud to call its own and long may it flourish.

Roger Swarbrick