Essential summer festivals on the East Coast

It’s summer on the east coast, which usually means trips to the beach or cottage, but it also means that it’s time for many Atlantic Canadian Festivals. The following are five festivals you might want to take in during your next visit.

Chocolate Festival

Have a sweet tooth? Even if you don’t, you should still check out one of Atlantic Canada’s most unique festivals: the Chocolate Festival. Now it’s 29th year, the festival, which is held in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, attracts a large crowd of chocolate lovers and those who are just curious about the week-long event. Activities include a chocolate-themed brunch, the Run for Chocolate road race, the Great Chocolate Mousse Cookie Decorating Event, and the Chocolate Heritage Walking Tour, which showcases some of St. Stephen’s historic homes and the town’s chocolate history. The 2013 Chocolate Festival is from August 3 to August 10.

The Point Michaud Surf Classic

Not all festivals have to honour a cultural or historical event; some celebrate other aspects of an area—like the Atlantic Ocean. For the past 10 years, the Point Michaud Surf Classic has brought together seasoned surfers and introduced new spectators and participants to the sport. The Surf Classic takes place Point Michaud Beach Provincial Park in Cape Breton form August 29 to September 1. It not only boasts a variety of surf competitions such as body board, short board, kids and a team relay, but also a camp out in the park, live music, exhibitions, and a surf “fun day.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival

Now it its 37th year, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival is one the province’s premiere music events. This year’s festival is held in Bowring Park in St. John’s from August 9 to 11. It includes performances from Joel Plaskett, the Irish Descendants, Kelly Russell, and Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case. There are also other events for those who want to take a break from the main stage, including the Tente Francophone, a dance tent, and an instrumental tent. A great weekend of music, this festival should be on the list of any music lover simply based on the collection of musicians it manages to bring together.

Festival Acadien de Clare

The Festival Acadien de Clare is the oldest Acadian festival in the world is described as “a celebration of Acadian culture and heritage.” Lasting almost two weeks, visitors to the Clare area get a chance to experience a variety of Acadian activities and learn about this distinct group of people. Events for the 58th annual festival include a parade, Fiddler’s Night, Legends of the Bay Lantern Tour, and the Rails to Trail bicycle event. This year’s festival started on July 27 and ends on August 15.

Whether you’re visiting the Atlantic Provinces for a few days or a couple months, these are just a taste of the festivals the East Coast has to offer, so be sure to mark at least on event on your calendar.