Many people come to Pictou for the sole purpose of catching the ferry onward to Prince Edward Island (it departs from Caribou, just minutes away), but the town itself is lovely, 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. Held in early July to mark the close of this region’s fishing season, the raucous Pictou Lobster Carnival features lobster-boat races, trap-hauling contests, and, of course, a chance to eat the tasty crustaceans.
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