Among the changes this year to Seafest in Yarmouth is that there will be no Parade of Lights – an event in which participating vessels would light up the harbour with their eye-catching visual displays – but efforts are underway to organize such an event a couple of weeks later.
A local group is looking to hold a Parade of Lights in Yarmouth in August. A spokesman for the group said they would like to have other activities that day too, including fishermen’s competitions, along with some food and music.
A lack of volunteers is said to be the reason the Parade of Lights was not included on this year’s Seafest schedule.
Given that people were disappointed over the loss of the event, local resident Steve Berry said he and some others hope to fill the void. There was a last-ditch effort again prior to Seafest starting to try and save the event for this year's festival but there weren't enough boats or volunteers for it to be a go but it's still being eyed for August.
“I have strong connections in the fishing community, so I just made some calls and got some interested boats,” he said. “Once I got back in touch with Seafest, unfortunately, their schedule was kind of already rolled out.”
But Berry figured they still could organize something, even if it only happened after Seafest was over. He checked some potential dates and found the first weekend of August seemed the best time.
Interviewed July 9, Berry (a Yarmouth town councillor) said the committee pursuing the project consists of about seven or eight people. At the time, four vessels were committed to taking part and two others were possibilities, he said.
“We are also trying to do some fishermen’s competitions during the day,” Berry said. “We’d like to do rope-splicing, coiling, pot-stacking, banding. Just showcase some of our locals’ talents and make a day of it. We’re hoping to have some kind of food-related thing, whether it be a seafood chowder or maybe lobster poutine.”
They would like to have music too, as well as bouncy castles for children, with the Parade of Lights wrapping things up in the evening.
The idea, Berry said, is “just to give Yarmouth kind of another event and draw some people down and get some community spirit up.”
Volunteers will be needed, he said, so if anyone can lend a hand, organizers would appreciate their efforts.
Berry said he would like to see this become an annual event. Not that they want to take it away from Seafest, he said, but he and his fellow committee members are prepared to step in and help out if that’s what it takes to ensure Yarmouth has a Parade of Lights in future years.