He’s the face behind hundreds of volunteers who have been organizing the Port George Country Jamboree for 35 years. And it’s not just music. It’s food and fun, a 200-table flea market, a breakfast, a supper, kids’ activities, and a major fundraiser for three Lions Clubs and the community of Port George.
The Kingston, Middleton, and Lawrencetown Lions team up with the community and put on a day like no other. Proceeds raised go back into the respective communities for charitable works.
It wasn’t always a Lions Club event. The jamboree originated with the late Earle Rafuse. The land, a natural amphitheatre, has been provided by the Parsons family all these years, and the entertainers perform free of charge.
True to its Roots
The Port George Country Jamboree has stayed true to its country roots and it seems to be working as the event always draws popular entertainers that in turn draw large crowds from across the province.
As many as 3,500 music lovers show up each year and that number has edged up to almost 4,000 some years. They bring their own lawn chairs and some come early to hunker down in their favourite spot close to the stage.
Some fans of the jamboree have never missed it in 34 years.
While the now-famous food cooked by the Lions and sold on the grounds throughout the day is indeed a popular draw; and while the flea market is a picker’s paradise – it’s the music that’s at the heart of it all.
Lyle says that’s because the entertainers are top notch.
Singer/songwriter and Valley boy Matt Balsor, for instance, is an award-winning recording artist with 12 studio albums and has performed in concert with the likes of Larry Gatlin, Carol Baker, and other hall of famers. And his music has played on radio throughout Canada, the US, Europe, and Australia.
Lynne Crowell from Barrington is a Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame inductee and has performed on television, played in multiple bands, and has is set to launch a new album later this year.
And then there’s Blain Henshaw, another local son from Deep Brook with more than 100 songs to his credit. He has a trio of CDs to his credit, is a publish author, and will be inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame in September.
Mark Clarke, Best of Intentions, Allan Butler, Stagecoach, Dave Burbine, Theresa Porter, Connie Munroe, and Valley Blue round out this year’s show.
Middleton Lion Dave Diggins is the chair of PGCJ-2017 and he refers to the annual day-long concert as a family oriented event that is a summer destination year after year for some who schedule their vacations around it.
He said country music literally a stone’s throw from the Bay of Fundy – it doesn’t get any better than that.
While it costs $5 for adults to get through the gate, children under 12 years of age are free to get in. There are three 50/50 draws throughout the day, and winnings usually average at around $3,000.
The food kiosks will be active all day and provide fish and chips, lobster rolls, hamburgers and hotdogs, strawberry shortcakes (very, very popular), milkshakes, fruit smoothies, coffee, tea, soft drinks, and bottled water.
Activities for the children include Lions Kiddie Train, sucker pull, fish pond, and face painting.
The gates open at 7 a.m. and that’s the same time the pancake breakfast starts. The supper runs from 4 to 6 p.m.
There is on-site parking with parking attendants and golf cards and drivers always ready to transport people around the grounds.
And there is camping available because some people like to arrive early and make it into a summer vacation event – complete with jam sessions on the campground. If you want to find out more about camping, call 902-825-3860 or 902-825-6473.
For more information go to www.countryjamboree.ca
(Gates open at 7 a.m.)
9 a.m. – Mark Clarke
10 a.m. – Blain Henshaw
11 a.m. – Best of Intentions
12 p.m. – Allan Butler
1 p.m. – Stagecoach
2 p.m. – Matt Balsor
3 p.m. – Dave Burbine & Traditional Country
4 p.m. – Theresa Lynn Porter & Friends
5 p.m. – Connie Munroe
6 p.m. – Lynn Crowell
7 p.m. – Valley Blue