Inaugural Spring Fling a success

Arts & Entertainment Community Featured

PICTOU — Water Street was closed to cars but opened to pedestrians on Saturday afternoon, thanks to Sonja Park and her daughter Rhonda of Water Street Bakery and Kevin Pettipas of Poppy’s. Tired of the dreary weather, Rhonda worked hard to get vibrantly coloured balloons to colour the streets.

With 30 vendors, including local businesses, Pictou’s inaugural Spring Fling offered something for everyone, including the visiting Tatamagouche Road Train that took approximately 700 visitors for a ride.

Mr J the Music Man, aka Leonard Johnson, added warmth to the shelter and colourful Water Street Bakery as business picked up with regulars as well as new visitors. A regular entertainer from Pictou, Mr J the Music Man, made a special visit for the event and plans to come back every other weekend in the summer months. Business was also consistent for Poppy’s and vendors and patrons were eager to talk about that.

Donna and Mike Hartlen from Durham were impressed by the reception of their yet-to-be named business as they sold four handcrafted benches and 15 brightly painted flowers. Mike mills his own wood on their property while Donna adds the final touches, a partnership that brings the couple, married for 40 years, together in retirement.

“They just asked us to come,” Donna says about being invited to the Spring Fling and referring to the organizers.

Just getting started, the Hartlens enjoy being part of local events and plan for more events in the future, including a Christmas in July sale. “We were in Porters Lake for 20-odd years because that is where Mike actually taught, then when we retired we bought a place in Durham with our own woodlot,” Donna proudly declared.

The owners of Water Street Bakery, from the Pictou side of River John, enjoy the drive to their shop daily to bake in the kitchen and display pieces from nearby artists.

“From what I heard it was wonderful, despite the weather,” Sonja Park stated as she busily rang in a constant line of customers. Selling out early of a lot of the community’s favourite hand-baked goods, Park was proud to say many of her vendors with items on consignment stopped in to meet customers and make Pictou’s Spring Fling successful.

The trio are eager to plan another event after they recover from the success of Pictou’s first community Spring Fling.

Lema, Asia and Sara Casim enjoy a tour of downtown Pictou on the Tatamagouche Road train, part of the first Spring Fling on Saturday. (Butland photo)