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Paddlefest kicks off summer season in Saint Andrews, N.B.


During the summer months, the seaside town of Saint Andrews is among New Brunswick’s most popular tourist destinations.

The annual Paddlefest Music & Nature Festival serves as the kickoff to the summer season in the coastal community. The annual four day event combines music, art, as well as both recreational and environmental activities for those who love music and adventure.

“We love being the kickoff for Saint Andrews,” says Paddlefest artistic director Luke Macdonald.

“We have been blessed with some great weather this weekend which is nice because that is not always the case but this is a good precedent for the season. It kind of kicks off the festival season for New Brunswick and the Maritimes as well. This is just a big celebration of (Saint Andrews) and our region.”

The festival has been ongoing for over 30 years, filling restaurants, hotels and shops in the town throughout the weekend.

Music is at the centre of the long weekend fun with acts coming in from across the country to play on the events main stage, while a community stage was also set up in town for local artists to perform. Many restaurants and cafes along Water Street also had local performers slated throughout the weekend.

Macdonald says highlighting the local talent is a big part of the weekend.

“Saint Andrews has always been synonymous with music arts and culture so we love to support it here in town and showcase local artist wherever we can,” says Macdonald.

“As well as bigger names from across the country and give them a taste of Saint Andrews ad what it is about, what New Brunswick is about and show them that East Coast hospitality.”

Paddlefest isn’t all music though. The long weekend festivities also include environmental presentations, a 19km trail run along the ocean floor, and a beach cleanup among other activities.

At the end of the weekend, Macdonald says it is all about celebrating culture, nature, and how they connect with one another.

“We try and encourage people to maybe discover something they weren’t familiar with,” says Macdonald.

“Whether that be an artist or a skill or an appreciation for nature in a way they didn’t realize. We just really want to celebrate this place, encourage people to realize how important it is to protect this place we are living, honour where it came form, and do what we can to keep it intact.”

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