Tom & Charlene's Excellent Adventures travel blog

Parading into harbor

Boat with priest & altar

Boats tied up in harbor

untitCrowd on the pier

Jacob and his cro-hooking

Parade float

Another "float"

See the goat in the barn - he was not a happy...

cow milking contest

ATV Pull

Boot Throwing Contest

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Today was one of those glorious days that we will always recall with a huge smile. We attended the "L’Exposition agricole et al Festival Acadian de la region Evangeline" – The Acadian Festival at Abrams Village in the Evangeline region of PEI. Our day started with a 6:45 AM wake-up to make it to Cap Egmont Wharf by 9:15 AM. Not sure of exactly where the wharf was located, we followed a string of cars turning left off Rt. 11. Luckily they were the right cars to follow– made it by 9:10! The harbor was decorated with red, white & blue pennants – colors of the French flag. Women were passing out Mass books written in French.

Out in the Egmont Bay we counted 15 large boats lining up for the procession into the harbor. The boats were all brightly decorated in the French colors, each filled with family and friends. The last boat to enter the harbor carried the priest, altar, servers and choir. The boats formed two lines of seven and roped together to stay in line. The priests’ boat was secured against the middle two boats. Father said Mass from the back of the boat. Communion Distributors scampered between boats and came out onto the docks to give Holy Communion to the crowd. They ran out of consecrated hosts. We estimated the crowd at 800-900 people. Each boat carried 20-30 family members and friends. Others lined two sides of the docks standing at least 4 deep. The colors of Frances were everywhere. People dressed as they would for the home team. We were surrounded by French. The priest said a welcome in English but the Mass, Readings and Sermon were all in French. After the service the boats left to return to Abram Village where the festival was based.

At Abram the festival committee was serving a soup lunch. For $7 you received a bowl of homemade soup (chicken & potato or vegetable) a roll, dessert and beverage. We each tried a different soup and were very satisfied with the choices.

Next we visited the handicraft building. We met 14 yr. old Jacob who was doing cro-hooking He was very shy when we started speaking. As he spoke of his work he became more animated. It is an art using a double-ended crochet hook to hook yarn together rather than knit or crochet. He showed us several squared he created that will be made into warm slippers. He was working on a square using green and blue yarn creating a wave pattern. The quality and consistency of his stitches was quite impressive. His grandmother was hooking a wall hanging.

We sampled all the experiences of the festival. After the handicraft visit we found seats for the parade. It was about 45 minutes long. A firetruck and marching veterans lead the parade. We were amazed that most of the crowd did not stand as the Canadian flag passed by. We did stand. The veterans were accompanied by a drum & bugle corps of young cadets. There were 5-6 floats, a few wagons and lots of cars and trucks, a few dogs riding w/owners and one goat. The Shriners had a contingent of mini cars. There were no high school bands in the parade.

Later we made the round of the exhibits. We watched horse pole racing. Children as young as 3 were lead on horses in a modified barrel race. The stage showcased fiddling and step dancing. There was a cow milking contest, a lumberjack show, ATV pulling and the highlight of the afternoon – the rubber boot throwing contest. Yes, rubber boot throwing. Each contestant took a (clean) muck boot and threw it as far as possible. The winner threw 102 ft! Men, women, teens and children competed.

We heard very little English today. Most of the announcements were in French and all the music. It was an interesting afternoon, the highlight of our weekend.

Decided we are almost out of clothes so headed to the laundromat when we arrived in Summerside. Found a very clean and deserted laundry and quickly completed the job for another (we hope) 10 days. Tonight we are guests of the Summerside Walmart. Only about a half dozen of us here tonight.

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