On August 27 we traveled the trailer to Burlington to attend the third annual presentation of “The Gathering”. This is a festival organized by local people and local artist. It seems Shaun Majumder a native of Burlington is one of the main people attributed with its success. There are three communities involved in the festival: Burlington, Smith’s Harbour and Middle Arm. They are located on the Baie Verte peninsula about 200 km west of Gander. To get there you turn at the Baie Verte Junction, drive 67 km turn right and continue 22 km to Burlington. The profits all go back to a non profit organization called BSM Manor that will help local businesses and entrepreneurs, with the goal of increasing tourism on the Baie Verte peninsula. They have plans to build a community green house, Hummock View Greens, luxury camping and or Klamping along with other projects and activities. There is great pride taken in the community even the garbage cans and signs have their own special touch.
The festival itself starts on Friday night with a comedy show with Shaun Majumder as the master of ceremonies along with several stand up comedians including Mike Critch, from the CBC show “This hour has only 22 minutes”.
I am not sure how much humour people from out of the province would grasp as it was very traditional Nfld. It was held at the local school with two sold out showings. Saturday consisted of the “shed crawl” where people were invited to travel to four local sheds with celebrities and indulge in offerings. The music at the ground was pretty much continuous with such artist as Alan Doyle, Dave Mahugh, Shaynneyganock, The Secrets, Fortunate Ones and Sherman Downey. Again mostly Nfld music.
The food was unbelievable being prepared by some well known Nfld chefs such as: Roary MaxPhearon from the Shearton, Stephan Vardy of Adelaide Oyster house, Murray Macdonald from the Fogo Island Inn, and Jeremy Chargles of Raymonds Resturant. The food was laid out and with the food ticket you could eat as much as you wanted or needed.
We were struck with the friendliest of the people and the number of volunteers. The mayor George helped us find a place to park the trailer and made several return visits to ensure we were comfortable. During the day we toured the other towns on the peninsula including Baie Verte, La Scie, Coachman’s Cove, Harbour Round, Fleur de Lys, Pacquet, Ming’s Bight, Wild Cove and Seal Cove. We very much enjoyed a meal of fish and chips in La Scie and the Fleur de Lys Soapstone Quarry, It is the site of a Dorset Paleo-Eskimo quarry; the oldest known mine on the Baie Verte peninsula. The Dorset people mined the soapstone quarry over 1600 years BP (before present). The site consists of an extensive series of heavily-worked soapstone outcrops which bear the scars of several hundred years of Dorset quarrying activities for the production of soapstone vessels. This is a well known place to watch ice bergs in season with four walking trails giving you access to different viewing sites.
Some pictures from the area.
Hopefully we can return next year.