The 1st Annual Cape Breton Paddlefest will take place in Richmond County from September 16th to September 18th. Richmond County Economic Developers are hoping to see a good number of paddlelists come into the area for this event. There are events planned for all week-end starting on Friday, with the sign in at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn between 5 and 7pm followed by a Slide Show courtesy of Rising Tide Expeditions to get the week-end started. The Bras d’Or Lakes Inn will host a Social with live entertainment by Krista MacKinnon and Jay Luddington from 8pm to midnight. On Saturday the events will begin at 8am at the St. Peter’s Lions Hall, with a welcoming address by a representative of the Municipality of Richmond followed by breakfast with a guest speaker from the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Association who will give a presentation on the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve. The guest speaker will address the audience on the Bras d’Or Lake's designation as the newest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the world and Canada’s 14th; just another accolade that Cape Bretoners’ can be proud off. At 9:30am, visitors will be able to watch participants of the event take part in the Paddlefest Parade which will travel through the historic St. Peter’s Canal to the Marina where a number of events are scheduled to take place starting at 10am. From 9:30 am until 12:30pm there will be sessions for Canoe Beginner, Kayak Beginner, Canoe Intermediate, and Kayak Intermediate with all kinds of interesting aspects to be learned followed by a social paddle on St. Peter’s Bay. The Paddlefest Expo will also take place at the Marina from 10am until 4pm. There will be a lunch break from 12:30pm until 2pm followed by the afternoon sessions which will continue through the afternoon and concludes with a Social Paddle of Arichat Harbour. From 6 to 7pm the festival dinner will take place, with guest speaker Bill Danielson, author of Cape Breton Weather, at the Lions Hall. Followed at 9pm by a dance where visitors can dance the night away with music by My Dog Sam. On Sunday sessions will continue starting at 9am and running to noon with the official closing of the festival. Participants in this event must pre-register by 4pm on September 9th. Charlene Marshall, Tourism Coordinator for the Municipality of Richmond, said their event partners have worked very hard to make this signature event one that is sure to draw visitors to the area, and turn into an event that will continue to grow and gain popularity each year.
The Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association will hold it’s core event to celebrate it’s designation by UNESCO at the Highland Village Museum in Iona on September 17th. Planned events are free to the public and will include a concert, official ceremony, multi-cultural food vendors, artisan vendors, art exhibit, play and information booths. This official ceremony is an event that all Cape Bretoners can take pride in. The Bras d’Or Lake Association has worked very hard over the last few years to draw the deserved recognition to this spectacular body of water of the Bras d’Or Lake and now the lake has gained recognition around the globe, so come out and join in the celebration and show your appreciation for this magnificent piece of nature that we can call our own.