Thirty-four years and counting

Published on July 14, 2014
The 2014 Twillingate Sun will be included with the July 16 edition of the Pilot.
Jim Hildebrand photo

It is time to celebrate once more.

Thirty-four years ago Lorna Stuckless started the Twillingate Fish, Fun and Folk Festival as a means to boost tourism in the area. It was a festival that shone a spotlight on rural living, highlighting crafts and different aspects of living in an outport town of Newfoundland. It was a time to have fun, and revel in community spirit. Stuckless has long since stepped down as chair of the Festival, but the volunteers who make up the Fish, Fun and Folk Committee continue to organize an event that is now one of the longest running festivals of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador. It continues to draw in tourists as Stuckless so long ago envisioned and remains a venue where local artists can display their crafts and area organizations can fundraise and give back to the community.

The Committee ensures that the festival remains a family affair. Almost all of the activities can be enjoyed by the young and young at heart. There will be Family Fun with games for the children at the ball field to Seniors Day sponsored by the Twillingate and New World Island Lions Clubs at the Hospital Pond. Along with the amazing local talent that will be entertaining at various spots around town, the Festival Committee has brought in some big name entertainers as well. There is so much to do and see that you might require a day planner. You certainly won't starve. Check your Festival schedule and you can find spectacular food from breakfast through supper time. Toutons, pancakes, pea soup or chowder, Jiggs Dinner or Fishermen's Brewis are just some of the offerings on the Festival menu.

Of course while the festival will be in full swing the recreational groundfish fishery will be on the go.

I must emphasize to the visitor that if they have never been out fishing for cod they should try getting out in a boat and give it a try. Twillingate has many boat operators that will be offering fishing as part of their tour experience. Pulling in a nice cod, getting up close and personal to giant icebergs, spotting whales and basking in the glory of our beautiful coastal scenery are just a few reasons to take advantage of the ample boat charters. A day on the water is a good day!

There are ample museums to visit in Twillingate and New World Island if you need a break from the festival, or maybe you could just go for a drive. Get out and explore. A little trip to Tizzard's Harbour or meandering about Herring Neck, Salt Harbour Island and Merritt's Harbour are just some of the picturesque little communities that are well worth a visit. Try early in the morning or late in the evening for some glorious sunrises and sunsets. Shutterbugs won't be disappointed.

A trip to the Long Point Lighthouse is always a hit. There are wonderful trails for those who enjoy hiking. There is also a superb display of the history of wooden boats in the lighthouse that is a “must see” for those who are interested in the evolution of boats in Newfoundland. To top it off (literally) there are guided tours that will take you up the light tower. It is a climb up in the newly designated federal heritage site and provides a stunning, breathtaking view.

Enjoy the Festival. Remember to venture out and take in all the other attractions that the area has to offer. This being said, I don't want your days and nights to be too hectic. Everyone needs time just to relax and enjoy the moments. Remember that if you can't get everything in on your schedule that there is always next year — the 35th Fish, Fun and Folk Festival. You are always welcome to come again.

 

—    Jim Hildebrand

Twillingate correspondent