A whimsical scene from last year’s Whirligig Festival.
By Amy Woolvett
The whimsical world of whirligigs will once again be spinning and churning along the Shelburne waterfront for the 14th annual Whirligig & Weathervane Festival.
The weekend long event from Sept. 20 to 22 will display some of the most creative and inventive whirligigs by builders near and far.
One of the organizers of the event, Timothy Gillespie said as the festival is the first of its kind in North America, people come from all over to go.
“You always see a lot of smiling faces at the festival,” he said. “Whirligigs seem to make people happy.”
Builders vie for top prizes that will total $1500 in cash and prizes.
Each year there is a theme with this year focusing on lighthouses.
Expert dory builder and wood crafter Milford Buchanan, will lead whirligig building workshops on the Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Workshops include all materials, paint and instructions for $25 per person.
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a kid’s whirligig workshop offered free for a maximum of 15 participants.
Later that night, the band Killick will hold a CD release party at the Osprey at 8 p.m.
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, judging of the whirligigs will take place with an awards presentation at 4 p.m. at the Guild Hall.
Already, organizers are prepping for the 15th anniversary that will mark next year’s event. “We are hoping to do something different next year,” said Gillespie.
Together, with the Shelburne County Arts Council, the groups have started planning toward what they hope will be a public art piece to commemorate whirligigs as a permanent fixture on the waterfront.
They are hoping to soon commission a professional artist from Nova Scotia and has narrowed down the list to about 7 artists who would be interested in doing the piece.
“This would be the first piece of large public art built in Shelburne County by a professional artist,” said Gillespie. “We think the project is really cool.”
The vision is to create a notable piece of public art that is connected to the wind.