The St. Lunaire-Griquet Mussel Festival was founded at the grassroots last year, as a hardworking committee wanted to give back to their community and celebrate with music, locally grown mussels and lots of activities. It was a pleasure to be in attendance and walk the grounds on Friday.
I was impressed by the extremely professional set-up of the bandstand, grounds, picnic tables, kiosks, ticket booth, signage, banners and washroom facilities. The organizing committee had improved upon last years start to host a first class festival. Everything was perfect, right down to the bountiful sunshine.
Opening ceremonies included all you can eat delicious SABRI mussels boiled in saltwater, lassy bread and hotdogs. There was a cake cutting, speeches and bountiful local entertainment. Youth had set up business and so had a number of local retailers and craftspeople. The nights brought lots of dancing and conversations, when mornings included Teddy Bear picnics, rummage sales, tea parties, punt races and a host of other activities. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy! Today is an outdoor Gospel Concert at 2 PM.
Communities grow and succeed when the local people support the ideas, business and development initiatives. This is something that does have that local buy-in. The committee circulated a schedule to all residents via direct mail. In future years, some signage on both sides of Route 436 and a sandwich board of what events are taking place may also help drive visitor traffic. As the festival continues to add new events and activities we will hope to see more exponential growth from those visiting our tourism region of L’Anse aux Meadows, St. Anthony and surrounding areas.
A big thank you to the hard working and dedicated volunteers who have made big things possible in small towns. Mark your calendars for next years festivities! It was indeed, so much fun!Live Rural NL – Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North @MitchelmoreMHA
Last year, residents in St. Lunaire-Griquet started a community development initiative to host a mussel festival, a fitting name given the Town is the only site of aquaculture on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.
I enjoy eating the locally grown mussels from our restaurants in St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove. Northern Delight and the Daily Catch are two fabulous dining establishments. Mussels can also be purchased at Burden’s General Store or Hedderson’s Store (out of town mussels can be found at Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony and through Gloria Barrett, Black Duck Cove). One gets great value from buying 10 lbs for $15.00. Buying mussels supports our local economy, it creates and maintains employment and leads to other economic opportunities that supports our small business and the non-for-profit community. St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)’s initiative has positive impacts on the 16 communities of Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and even the greater region.
One can see the schedule of events below of this year’s planned activities for the Mussel Festival in which I am delighted to attend the official opening. The volunteer committee has given many hours of their time and have worked with other groups such as the Firettes to help raise needed money for the volunteer fire department, as well drawing upon local talent and events for all ages. They deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to creating new opportunities in their small town.
I would encourage local residents of the Great Northern Peninsula and visitors to the region to enjoy a fun filled weekend at the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet and of course, get a fine feed of mussels.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North @MitchelmoreMHA
I enjoy a pot of delicious mussels at home from time to time. There is something quite awesome about being able to walk just two minutes and be on the beach. It is even better when the tide is low, allowing you the pleasure to move about the rocks and find wild mussels growing.
I remember once picking mussels with my father in my community of Green Island Cove. He had taken a rake and we were both wearing our long rubber boots. It was near the cemetary, with the water quite deep. So my father plopped me up on an ice pan to put the mussels he scrapped off the ocean floor into a 5 gallon bucket. We had some very large mussels, much larger than the ones in the image below.
Make a memory when you come to the Great Northern Peninsula – Experience a Mussel Boil by picking your own wild mussels! If you would like to add to the authenticity, use a Salt Beef Bucket to empty your shells.
Dig in & take a walk on the wild side!
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore