DORCHESTER, N.B. – The Village of Dorchester and community partners are busy finalizing a schedule of events for the 18th annual Dorchester Sandpiper Festival.
This year’s festival, which will take place from July 27-29, has expanded from a two-day festival to three days and new events are being added each week.
The public is invited to check out the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DorchesterNBSandpiperFestival/ or the village’s website at www.dorchester.ca for the most up-to-date versions of the schedule.
This year the festival has a new brand, with a new logo and a new mascot named Piper that will be involved in a lot of promotion leading up to the festival. Piper was created with a lot of hard work and talent by local artists and community volunteers Peggy Estabrooks and Jackie Weldon of Sisterworks Art.
This year’s festival is well-rounded, with activities for all ages and all interests: A Kids Zone for children and those young at heart, events for the whole family, nature enthusiasts, heritage, arts and recreation.
The Dorchester Art Society and local fibre enthusiasts will have a show at the Veterans Community Centre. Musical performances are lined up at the Shepody House, and the Keillor House Museum has a full schedule of events, including a heritage fair and breakfast.
New activities are being added to the Kids Zone each week, and organizers say they are excited to announce Maritimes Event Rentals is coming with their rock climbing wall and bouncy castle. A photo booth, sponsored by Archway Insurance, will be set up with a green screen for a chance to “fly with the Sandpipers”. There will also be a vendor village, featuring food and local artisans.
There will also be the opportunity to travel to the Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Reserve and Interpretive Centre, 2724 Route 935, to see the shorebirds in their natural habitat. Johnson’s Mills is a scenic eight-kilometre drive from Dorchester; take the drive or ride on the shuttle bus that will be operating during the festival. Either way, the scenery will be breathtaking.
“The festival highlights our welcoming community and proximity to these magnificent shorebirds,” organizers stated in a press release last week, “making our location and this festival extremely unique. The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about sandpipers and their relationship to Dorchester, but whether you are a nature enthusiast or just curious to learn more about our local sandpipers, the Sandpiper Festival is for you.
“What a great way to spend a weekend with the family or make a plan to visit Dorchester.”
Those planning to attend are encouraged to “like” the festival’s Facebook page for updates and additions to the schedule. Vendors are also encouraged to sign up for the Vendor Village, and there are many sponsorship opportunities available for businesses.
The public is also advised that effective 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, a portion of Cape Road will be closed near Shepody House and Richard Park to be used as the festival grounds. Traffic heading southwest will be rerouted up School Street at Richard Park and traffic heading North on Cape Road will be closed to local traffic only. Racetrack Road is accessible to local traffic. The detour route is along Water Street. Street closures will be lifted at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 29.