Festivals

Acadian Festival. This two-week celebration of Acadian culture is held in Caraquet during the first two weeks of August. In the Tintamarre, costumed participants parade noisily through the streets; the Blessing of the Fleet, a colorful and moving ceremony that's usually held on the first Sunday of the festival, eloquently expresses the importance of fishing to the Acadian economy and way of life. Alongside these events is a schedule of concerts, theater, storytelling, poetry, and visual arts. Caraquet, New Brunswick. 506/727–2787; www.festivalacadien.ca.

Area 506. With two days of music on the main stage and a multicultural shipping container "village" housing artists, artisans, New Brunswick entrepreneurs, food, and a night market, this early August event on the waterfront has quickly become one of the province's signature events. The container village is free (donations accepted), but wristband tickets are needed for main stage. Long Wharf, Saint John, New Brunswick. 877/384--9669; area506.ca.

Buskers on the Bay. For four days in mid-July an international array of acrobats, musicians, street theater, and comedy troupes provide high-energy entertainment by the waterfront in Saint John. 1 Market Sq., Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4Z6. 506/658–3600; marketsquaresj.com/buskers-on-the-bay.

Foire Brayonne. The annual Foire Brayonne, held in Edmundston over the long weekend surrounding New Brunswick Day (beginning on the Wednesday before the first Monday in August), is one of the largest Francophone festivals outside of Québec. It's also one of the liveliest and most vibrant cultural events in New Brunswick, with concerts by acclaimed artists as well as local musicians and entertainers, crafts, a Children's Village, and traditional food. Edmundston, New Brunswick. 506/739–6608; www.foirebrayonne.com.

Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. More than 400 world-class musicians perform at 100 concerts on 20 stages in downtown Fredericton over six days in mid-September, encompassing many genres of jazz, blues, rock, and more. 81 Regent St., Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 3W3. 506/454–2583; 888/622–5837; www.harvestjazzandblues.com.

Miramichi Folksong Festival. Canada's longest-running folk festival, hosted annually in early August since 1958, has grown from three to six days and features well-known special guests as well as the best local musicians in lunchtime and evening concerts, workshops, children's events, and an old-fashioned kitchen party in a local pub. There's also a boat trip (with music) on the Miramichi River. Beaverbrook Kin Centre, 100 Newcastle Blvd., Miramichi, New Brunswick, E1V 3M2. 506/622–1780; www.miramichifolksongfestival.com.

New Brunswick Highland Games and Scottish Festival. On the grounds of the riverside Government House, this long-established late July festival is one of the best of its kind in North America. In addition to competitive games–-tossing cabers and throwing various other heavy weights–-the event includes pipe bands, traditional music, and dancing, plus a 5-km (3-mile) kilted run. 51 Woodstock Rd., Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 9L8. 506/452–9244; 888/368–4444; highlandgames.ca.

New Brunswick Summer Music Festival. For about 10 days in August, Fredericton hosts some of Canada's finest classical musicians, mostly at Memorial Hall at the University of New Brunswick, with some free concerts in the cathedral and on Officer's Square. UNB Memorial Hall, 9 Bailey Dr., Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3. 506/458–7836; nbsummermusicfestival.ca.

Shediac Lobster Festival. The self-proclaimed Lobster Capital of the World has been celebrating the crustacean since 1949 with a five-day festival in early July. Events and entertainment include concerts, a parade, a midway, a beach day, children's entertainers, a bid for the title of the world's longest lobster roll, and daily lobster-eating contests. Belliveau Ave., Shediac, New Brunswick. 506/532–1122; www.shediaclobsterfestival.ca.

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