I moved to the Maritimes almost 20 years ago when I left my home in Ontario to work in Halifax. Many have said, “that’s not normally how it goes;” it usually flows the other way. The neighbours on either side of me in downtown Ottawa were from Atlantic Canada and I recall how envious they were when I told them I was heading for the East Coast. At the time I didn’t really get it. I do now.
I can’t even begin to list what it is I love most about this region. The list would go on forever and I would be afraid to forget something, but first and foremost, it’s the people. I was told to expect warm hospitable folks and you did not disappoint. A close second might be the festivals: there is always something going on.
While June 1 was the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, it was also the first day of the Iceberg Festival in St. Anthony, N.L.
For the uninitiated, the Iceberg Festival celebrates the coming of spring in the north and the annual arrival of icebergs. As is the case with most festivals, you’ll find wonderful music, great food, entertainment, history, culture, great hospitality and, of course, icebergs. This is the 10th annual and it takes place from June 1 to 10.
Did you know that there are six official size classifications for icebergs? The smallest ones are called “growlers” and they’re a little smaller than a car. The next size up is a “bergy bit” (how adorable), which is about the size of a house. The remaining four size categories are less descriptive: small, medium, large and very large. A very large iceberg measures more than 70 metres high and 200 metres long.
Not only are icebergs fascinating, they are educational, too. Icebergs can serve as tools for scientists, who study them to learn more about climate and ocean processes.
This festival is 10,000 years in the making. Tell a friend and, if you’re able to, go enjoy some amazing hospitality on the Great Northern Peninsula. For those of us who can’t make it this year, please take lots of photos and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will share those photos with everyone in print and on my website: www.weatherbyday.ca
In the meantime, here’s where you can learn more about this great event: Iceberg festival
PS: Don’t worry about being cold! The warm welcome you’ll receive from the folks on the Northern Peninsula will keep you toasty!
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.