Those interested in becoming more involved with Yarmouth’s annual Seafest, “a celebration of life by the Sea,” are invited to a March 5 meeting at 7 p.m., upstairs at Rudders Seafood Restaurant and Pub.
New committee member Ashley Saulnier says she thinks the Seafest slogan sums up the 10 days nicely.
Lobster-eating contests are one of many events planned for the annual Seafest. This year’s festival takes place July 18-28. Carla Allen photo
"I’ve had so much fun participating in Seafest activities in the past that I’d now like to give back. At the same time I’m having fun and expanding the fellowship of being part of the team," she said.
The July 18-28 festival’s theme is Mermaids and Mariners. Committee chairs have submitted their lists of volunteers required and the tasks to be completed. Information on activities and planning will be discussed at the March 5 meeting.
President Don Smith says involvement for volunteers can be as easy as helping out for one day.
"We understand that folks have busy lives and we want this to be fun for all, especially those who help to create the actual festival.
“Whether you choose to help with one activity on the day it takes place, the advance planning of one activity... or multiple activities and board meetings, the choice is yours.
“We encourage all to attend our volunteers meeting, or phone, email, etc., we are happy to answer questions and add to our Seafest family," said Smith.
Long time Seafest volunteer Linda Deveau says referring to the committee as family is just not a token statement.
"New members of our community and youngsters who grew up with Seafest (now in its 34th year) are part of the committee and event volunteers.
“You can see how this festival has had a positive impact on life and living in the Yarmouth County area and that it truly is a celebration of life by the sea."
Seafest, as a solely volunteer entity, is relatively new for the festival. This is year four for the festival to be administered, organized and implemented by volunteers.
When it began in 1979, it was under the direction of the recreation department, now known as Yarmouth Recreation. In 1983 its administration moved over to the Main Street program, which ultimately became the Yarmouth Development Corporation (YDC).
"Summer student staff has always been part of the festival and we certainly hope that continues as they are invaluable" says Deveau ,"however everything else is now all citizen volunteers."
Municipal, provincial and federal government funding partnerships are key to allowing the volunteers to undertake the ongoing development and planning of the 10-day Nova Scotia signature festival.
"It’s a win, win situation for all" says Smith.
"Our tourism product is enhanced in an affordable way and the quality of life for our citizens has added value.”