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Maritimers look forward to midsummer weekend full of events

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If you're looking for something fun to do this long weekend there's no shortage of options to choose from no matter where you are in the Maritimes.

CRAB FEST RETURNS

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Maritimes, the Louisbourg, N.S, Crab Fest is back.

"We have live music happening all over the village,” said Marc Botte, one of the festival’s organizers. “All of it is free admission and Crab Fest really is the centrepiece of that."

This year's event is seen as a renaissance of sorts for a seasonal community that had so few visitors the last two summers.

"This kind of marks the reopening of Louisbourg,” Botte said. “We were actually able to tap into some federal funding from the Canada Reopening Fund, so (thanks) in part to the federal government we're able to extend the celebration really into a three day festival."

Crab Fest kicks off Friday night with a concert headlined by the Matt Minglewood Trio.

"It's going to be a fantastic weekend,” Botte said.

OTHER CAPE BRETON EVENTS

Most communities don't boast a two-time Boston Marathon champion, but Sydney Mines, N.S., will do just that when the horn sounds on the annual Johnny Miles Road Race Saturday morning.

"Johnny Miles is a legend,” race director Cyril MacDonald put simply.

The summer festival has a new name now – Heritage Days – but the feel should be similar.

"There are countless entertainers set up,” MacDonald said. “There's kids' activities. There's a movie Saturday night. There are so many things to do and it just feels like we're back to the way we used to be."

MAINLAND N.S. EVENTS

In Dartmouth, the annual Natal Day Parade is scheduled for the holiday Monday.

The Busker Festival has also expanded to both sides of the Halifax Harbour for the first time.

P.E.I. EVENTS

On Prince Edward Island, people can carve out time to check out the STIHL Timbersports Championship in Charlottetown, or Atlanticade in Summerside.

There are several other long weekend events on P.E.I., including Island Fringe Festival and Ribfest.

N.B. EVENTS

On the other side of the Confederation Bridge, Monday is New Brunswick Day – with a lot of activities taking place in Fredericton.

“We have a lot of great entertainment lined up for the day,” said Mark Taylor, who is with New Brunswick’s Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. "Bouncy castles, lots of food, food trucks, circus performers as well, this year. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is going to be open to the public for free."

A new festival is also debuting this weekend in northwestern New Brunswick. Festival Royal Edmundston will take over the city’s downtown with DJ’s on Friday night, and live bands on Saturday night. During the day Saturday there will be a downtown market with family activities.

“We’re going to have enough for you, your grandma, your dad, your aunt, but for the kids as well,” says Mylene Gagne, co-founder of Festival Royal Edmundston. “It’s for everyone.”

The Area 506 Festival is returning to Saint John, with the addition of the new permanent container village which opened in June. The three day music festival will also have include the arrival of a 3,100 person cruise ship nearby on Sunday morning.

“For the show itself, for the festival, we would expect probably in and around 12,000 people,” says Area 506 founder Ray Gracewood. “And then, through the container village we’ve always done anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 people through. Now that we have the container village as the real anchor I think we’ll probably see even more than that, so we’re excited to see the traffic.”

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