Many people come to Pictou for the sole purpose of catching the ferry onward to PEI (it departs from Caribou, just minutes away) but that's too bad because the town itself is a lovely one with a revitalized waterfront centered on a very different vessel. In 1773 an aging cargo ship named the Hector arrived here carrying the initial load of Scottish Highlanders, making Pictou "The Birthplace of New Scotland."
Each year in mid-August, the quay is the focal point for the weekend-long Hector Festival, which celebrates the Scots' arrival. There are concerts, reenactments, and other themed activities.
The descendents of many the Scots who arrived in Pictou went into the lobster fishing business, which inspires the raucous Pictou Lobster Carnival (902/485-5150 www.pictoulobstercarnival.ca). Held in early July to mark the close of this region's fishing season, it features lobster-boat races, trap-hauling contests, and, of course, tasty crustaceans.
Pictou at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
Elsewhere in The Eastern Shore and Northern Nova Scotia
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