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St. Lunaire-Griquet Mussel Festival continues all weekend!

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The 2015 Mussel Festival officially kicked off last night at 8 PM in St. Lunaire-Griquet. This is always an amazing weekend in the Town that is showcasing its beautifully grown mussels in their pristine waters at the SABRI mussel farm. I find Mussel Fest is a real celebration of community brought to you by hard working and dedicated volunteers that work with groups and business to further support their town. It truly is community-building at its best, not to mention a fantastic time with good activities, good food and good company.

The festival site is beautiful set-up with appropriate fencing, kiosks for vendors and a great bandstand. The opening saw temperatures dip from the early 20’s to almost single Celsius digits. It may have kept some home, but it was a fantastic evening to welcome everyone to the community, enjoy a fine piece of cake, nice music and have a feed of mussels and enter into great conversations. Later that night a lantern release would happen around 9:30 PM.

Below is their amazing schedule, drop by and participate in any of the events:

Friday, August 7
3:00 Dart Tournament—Fire Hall–$5.00; 2 person team (2 women or 1 man and 1 woman) 12 team maximum
5:00 Craft fair–$5.00/table (or donate a craft for a prize)
Kids’ games–tickets 4/$1; Candy Jar $.50/guess
Music – Barry Elsworth & James
7:00 Boil up $5.00 each, kids under 10 free–all you can eat mussels, hot dogs, lassey bread, fruit drink, tea/coffee
Music – Local talent and Barry Elsworth and James
9:00 Bar opens

Saturday, August 8
10:00 Seniors’ Tea—Sortie Weddings and Tea Room (RESERVATIONS ONLY)
12:00 Lunch – $7.00; kids $3.00–fisherman’s brewis; hot dogs; tea/coffee; cake; pop/water $1.00
2:00 Boat races – White Cape Harbour – $5.00; women and men single; women and men doubles; mixed pairs;
2:00 Seniors’ Tea—Sortie Weddings and Tea Room (RESERVATIONS ONLY)
3:00 Teddy Bear Picnic; kids’ games; craft faire
4:30 Firettes’ Beans and Bologna supper
7:00 Adult 120’s card game–$5.00
10:00 Dance—JASON ROGERS–$10:00/person (receive 1 free bar ticket); Hamburgers being sold (proceeds to Fire Dept. & Silver Linings)

Sunday, August 9
12:00 Lunch—Mussels and hot dogs – $3.00
2:00 Gospel concert. Donation box – monetary donation or grocery item–proceeds to Food Bank
Closing ceremonies
Ticket draws

MUSSELS available throughout each day–$3.00/plate

Ticket sales every day—50/50; quilt/painting/ice cream; 1/2 Grand.
FESTIVAL proceeds to Fire Department and Senior Memory Benches

PARKING at Fire Hall or Town Hall. NO PARKING AT MOTEL

You can spread the world and help this locally grown festival by sharing on Facebook and telling your friends. I look forward to events tomorrow! My hat goes off to the committee members and those helping in any way, you truly make very big things happen in our small communities.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (THe Straits-White Bay North)

Iceberg Festival Returns in June for 7th Season! You won’t want to miss something 10,000 years in the making!

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This year’s festival runs from June 5th to June 14th, 2015. Be sure to check out their website http://theicebergfestival.ca/ for updates. The Great Northern Peninsula is known as iceberg alley and the ideal location to experience their beauty.

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Check out their current schedule of events, with more being added http://theicebergfestival.ca/schedule/.

  • Kitchen Parties
  • Iceberg, Whale & Seabird Tours
  • Mummers
  • Vikings
  • And lots more

Enjoy local foods, traditional music, awe inspiring icebergs. An authentic event that has truly been 10,000 years in the making. Join us for an incredible experience on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Your Road to Adventure Awaits…

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Those who live on the Great Northern Peninsula appreciate the true beauty, the mystique and charm that comes with Northern living.

I’ve spent a lot of time travelling many countries of the world, mainly visits to capital cities. They have their exceptional offerings, but one can not compare the authenticity of culture and place. I remember saying, “I’ve been to Dublin three times to my Irish friends and they would say, you have never experienced Ireland”. So in 2010, I took them up on this comment and rented a car and drove 1,800 kilometres from Kinsale to the Giant’s Causeway and all places in between. I can now say, I’ve truly experienced Ireland from the farmhouse dinners to the rugged shorelines to the nightly sounds at multiple pubs.

Now, the same is true with Newfoundland & Labrador, if you come and visit the Capital and never make it up the Viking Trail on the Great Northern Peninsula’s tip, you are truly missing a rural gemstone that will provide lasting memories and conversation pieces for a lifetime.

The road to adventure awaits and it can only be found as you travel up the tip! It is the only place in the world, where the human race came full circle for the very first time, which was 100,000 years in the making (Read: Where the World Came Full Circle)

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The Great Northern Peninsula is home to the only authenticated Norse site in North America at L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site. Only a short distance away is the Snorri and a Viking Village and Port of Trade. Norstead gives everyone the opportunity to interact and live like a Viking! Sagas, Stories and Tales and more are part of the original experience.

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Multiple cruise ship visits make L’Anse aux Meadows their port of call where they are greeted by a giant statue of Lief Erikson. Restaurants, craft shops, coffee shops, lounges, artisans, economuseums, walking trails, campgrounds to vacation rentals, and story boards make for unique experiences.

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The fishing stages, vernacular architecture and sights and surroundings are unique in itself. If you are lucky you will see moose, caribou and other wildlife.

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In Spring and Summer giant icebergs come to shore…only the biggest can be found the further North you go.

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Lighthouses hunters (Cape Norman, Cape Bauld, Flower’s Island), bird and whale watches and those in search of rare plants will want to trek the Great Northern Peninsula. The Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve has 300 species of plants, thirty of which are rare and one unique to the region.

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Images of wildlife and everyday living can be viewed at Town of Englee Municipal Building at their Mat Hooking Exhibition. Also in the building, is home to Glacier Glass, a glass art studio which has handcrafted items that are quintessentially rural.

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Main Brook and Roddickton-Bide Arm is home to excellent fishing and hunting experiences and adventure tourism. While visiting these hubs one can visit St. Julien’s & Croque and see the French Cemeteries and Fishing Stages or explore the tapestry in Conche, which is home to the French Shore Interpretation Centre. There is also a French bread oven in Quirpon and Dark Tickle is home to the Granchain Exhibit.

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We also have unique thrombolites at Flower’s Cove, or “living rocks” that are between 600 million to 1.2 billion years old.

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A boardwalk will take you there, as will a boardwalk take you back to Deep Cove, which is a winter housing Historic Site. In winter the trails are a great place to leisurely ski or snowshoe.

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Dr. Grenfell is a larger than life man and his work is reflective of the economy in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador today from the expanse of medical services, co-operatives, handicrafts and economic development – one will not want to miss the Grenfell experience at the Historic Properties. Fishing Point Provincial Park, Polar Bear Exhibit, Northern Discovery Boat Tours, The Great Viking Feast and the Legion Kitchen Parties are also for the to do list.

Sir Dr. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

The Iceberg Festival in June and Mussel Festival in August also draw lots of attention and provide fun for the whole family. Let’s not forget the times to be had at the Conche Garden Party and Goose Cove Garden Party.

Wherever the road takes you on the Great Northern Peninsula, the experience will be unforgettable – as the people, culture and place are just that.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Bay Roberts Fire Department is a Shining Example of Answering the Call for St. Lunaire-Griquet

The Bay Roberts Fire Department is a shining example of answering the call and doing their utmost to protect personal property and save lives. I had the privilege of visiting this Department on November 1st, meeting Fire Chief Norman, firefighter Dean Franey and Mayor Wood. I was given a tour of their Department, discussed equipment, sharing of services and gained a much broader understanding and appreciation of the work they do to serve a large population of more than 6,000 people in conjunction with their Municipal Council.

I arrived in Bay Roberts after a significant loss on the Great Northern Peninsula when a cornerstone business of Hillier’s Automotive was gutted by fire in St. Lunaire-Griquet in October. In a newspaper article, Deputy Fire Chief Humby had highlighted their lack of protective fire suits as a major concern for their growing department members. He highlighted the Firettes, would be raising money to try to purchase eight suits that were needed.

Hillier’s Automotive destroyed by fire, Northern Pen, October 6th, 2014

I sent this information our via Twitter and was surprised to get a response from Bay Roberts Fire Department saying they may be able to be of assistance in helping St. Lunaire-Griquet with their need. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to accept on behalf of St. Lunaire-Griquet Fire two full bunker suits and third jacket. This was an amazing contribution by Bay Roberts and illustrates their giving spirit and the importance of helping those who have a need.

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Offering Protection, Northern Pen, November 5th, 2014

It was very pleased to see they had a Memorial space dedicated to firefighters in the Town, who have passed away and also the Heritage Society have posted interpretative panels. They still have their number one fire truck since the 1946, which gets used in parades, but not for active service. This type of initiative could be replicated in other Towns and Departments to give recognition to those who give their service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Fire Chief Snow became a new dad and was at the hospital for the delivery upon my return to the District and I wanted these suits to be with the Department as soon as possible, as one never knows when a fire call may strike. I presented President of the Firettes, Mona Snow with the bunker gear. This will help them greatly with respect to their fundraising goals for the remaining suits they need.IMG_20141114_143847

A tour of Bay Roberts illustrated a vibrant Town  with respect to tourism, fishery, small business, growing sub-divisions, a planned business park and community economic development initiatives such as festivals. I enjoyed seeing the Mad Rock and network of walking trails, well-marked signs and a visit to the Mad Rock Cafe for a delicious meal. I would highly recommend a visit and look forward to a return in the near future.

The Town of Bay Roberts is poised for future growth and ideally located to capitalize on future opportunities. They are also capitalizing on the use of social media with active Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages and a visually appealing website to keep people informed and engaged. Towns, organizations, business or volunteer groups not active on Twitter and Facebook should consider adopting. It’s a New Year!

I want to extend a thank you to Bay Roberts for your kindness, hospitality and generousity. Bay Roberts, like the Great Northern Peninsula, is a place you will want to experience.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Picturesque St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove, NL

The Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet  and Gunner’s Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula are completely picturesque and there is no wonder more than 30,000 visits during the summer season. This place is steeped in history from the Aboriginals, Vikings, French, English and other settlers given the presence of the mysterious markings at St. Brendan’s rock.

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The presence of traditional saltbox, biscuit box or two-story homes can be viewed along winding roads with ocean views and craggy coastlines. There are many unique pieces of vernacular architecture you will not want to miss on your visit.

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There will be root vegetable gardens near roadside and flakes of salt cod drying in the sizzling summer sun. A host of accommodations are available from motels, cottages, cabins, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals and hotels to meet any travellers needs.

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There are unique attractions, a network of walking trails, eco-museums, craft and carving shops, boat tours, festivals and an array of activities in the surrounding areas from the Viking Settlement, Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade, Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, Raleigh Historical Fishing Village, Grenfell Historic Properties, Radio Quirpon, Coffee Shops, Kitchen Parties at the Legion and Screech-ins at Skipper Hots with traditional music by the Skipper Hots band.

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People come and are wowed by the icebergs of the Great Northern Peninsula. They are much larger as they snuggle into our harbours and coves. Watch small boat fishers as they bring in their daily catch or have a yarn at the small wharves. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is truly about interaction with out people. The Great Northern Peninsula offers a truly unique and authentic experience.

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The culinary experiences are exceptional, with two of the restaurants ranking in the top 10 for the best fish n’ chips in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Daily Catch, Snow’s Take-out  and Dark Tickle Cafe are in St. Lunaire-Griquet, with Northern Delight in Gunner’s Cove. L’Anse aux Meadows is home to the Norseman Restaurant, Coffee in the Cove at Hay Cove and Burnt Cape Cafe in Raleigh.

Northern Peninsula eateries praised for their fish and chips

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The tip of the Great Northern Peninsula is the perfect get-a-way to be one with nature. Moreover, it has the distinction of being the one place in the world where humanity came full circle – an event more than 100,000 years in the making!

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Now that you know there are lots of places to stay, eat and experience – pack your camera and begin planning that trek up the Great Northern Peninsula and start snapping images of the picturesque communities of St. Lunaire-Griquet and Gunner’s Cove on Newfoundland’s tip.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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