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SYDNEY MINES, N.S. — With the success of the inaugural Sydney Mines Heritage Festival in 2022, organizers are pleased to announce that it will now become an annual event.
The festival is set to kick off on Friday and continue through to Sunday.
Dave Julian is the president and CEO of New Deal Development, the host sponsor and organizer of the festival. He said he brought the idea of the festival to the board of directors back in early 2022.
“There were a few years during COVID when we didn’t have a lot going on in the town. When I brought the idea of a summer festival to the board, they were very receptive. Now, with the success of the first festival, we are pleased to be able to do it again.
“We put a lot of work into organizing the first Sydney Mines Heritage Festival. There was a bit of a learning curve but we figured out ways to improve things for this year,” Julian said.
Past and present members of the board of directors of New Deal Development have been volunteering in the community for over 40 years. Current members agree being a part of a festival of this nature is something that can only serve to benefit the town.
“When it comes to history Sydney Mines has a lot to offer. Organizing the festival not only provides people from all over the island the chance to come together and enjoy summer fun, it also provides the opportunity to showcase the rich history of the town,” Julian explained.
Music is always a big part of any summer festival and the Sydney Mines Heritage Festival is no exception. Some of the island’s most popular musicians are lined up to take the main outdoor stage set up at the Sydney Mines and District Community Center located on Legato Street.
Those attending can expect performances from Angela Iannetti and her buddies, Andrew Doyle and The Black Cats just to name a few.
In addition to daily entertainment, festival visitors can enjoy some tasty island treats. A number of popular food trucks are scheduled to join the festivities once again this year.
There will be no shortage of things to keep everyone involved. Activities to meet the entertainment needs of kids and adults of all ages will be offered daily.
Adults will enjoy a stroll through Vendors Village. A group of island crafters and artisans will be on hand selling their creative handmade products including jewelry, artisan soap, candles and bath & body products.
One of the most popular festival events from the past will return this weekend. A large turnout is expected for the 5k Johnny Miles Road Race. Runners will take the line on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Julian said he expects the community to be very receptive to the festival again this year.
“I think the residents of the town will come out in large numbers for what we have planned. We tried to cover all the bases and make sure we have a little something for everyone.”
The festival is not just a Sydney Mines event; all are invited to attend. Organizers welcome everyone to come out to enjoy the activities. For the most part, things will take place on the grounds of the Sydney Mines and District Community Centre.
Julian said the festival wouldn’t be possible without the support of a team of volunteers eager to help organize.
“We are very thankful to the people who have been volunteering their time. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
“It has taken several months to plan and prepare but we are happy how things have come together. We were a little more aware of what to expect as we started planning for this year’s festival and we are pretty confident that it will be even better,” Julian explained.
Special thanks are extended to those who supported the event last year and continue to do so this year. A complete list of activities, performers, sponsors and event locations can be found included in the detailed brochure available for pickup now at local businesses.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the festival or looking for more information can drop by the New Deal office on Main Street (new location at the former ScotiaBank), phone 902-736-3796 or email [email protected] .
Sherry Mulley MacDonald is an author and columnist. She is a lifelong resident of the Northside with a fondness for the community in which she lives.