Event organizer Simone Wilson said the festival also launched celebrations of next year’s 400th anniversary of the first planting by Louis Hebert of a vineyard on the hills of Bear River in 1611.
Almost every organization in Bear River participated in the arts and culture festival, along with countless volunteers. The village historical society hosted a vaudeville-style magic show, while the Annie Kempton Graveyard Tour was hosted by Robert Hersey and led by Rupert Haley. A second tour was added to round out the festival, Wilson said.
An antique canoe show featured a spectacular Mi’kmaq birch bark canoe borrowed from the Bear River First Nations Cultural Centre.
“The canoe and kayak regatta was a magical sight as it floated past the waterfront park festivities Saturday morning,” Wilson said. “Grape stomping in our now famous barrel was a must see as were the historical characters that roamed Bear River’s streets and venues.”
The festival was marred, however, by a freak accident during the tug-of-war contest that saw former warden Jim Thurber injured.
“Everyone in this village is holding Jim Thurber close in our hearts and minds and wish him both a speedy and gentle recovery,” Wilson said.