With less than two months left on the countdown clock, the team behind East Hants Tide Fest is getting ready for the wave of excitement to hit once again.
Heralded as the “biggest event of the summer”, the large-scale homecoming festival held at the East Hants Sportsplex is now entering its third year. A fully volunteer-run affair, dozens of people behind the scenes are currently bustling to bring everything together for a bigger and better 2019.
“From here on out, it really doesn’t stop,” says Aurora Boudreau, a Tide Fest volunteer who works on the communications side of things. “Even though it feels like spring has just sprung, we’ve already got our sights set right on July, to grow Tide Fest and make it even more fun, impactful and successful for the community. It’s a big team of people working very hard that makes everything come together. We’ve already been meeting since last fall, so there’s a ton of planning that goes into it.”
The lineup of events for this year has the returning fan favourites: the Washer Toss Tournament (recently confirmed by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest in 2017); the Music Festival; the Ball Hockey Tournament; the Community Fair; Atlantic Canada’s Strongest Man & Woman; and food trucks are all in the works. Plus new for 2019, Tide Fest is working with the East Hants Soccer Club to organize an adults’ tournament over the course of two days. More details will be released on that announcement in the weeks ahead.
“We’re very excited to have some generous businesses in the community step up as sponsors for Tide Fest,” says Boudreau. “Big contributors include John MacDonald from E-Commerce Solutions by Canucks Inc., and the Municipality of East Hants. There are many others who support us and they’re all listed on our website. None of this would really be possible without them.”
If businesses are interested in sponsoring Tide Fest, the package is available on their website.
Tide Fest is a not-for-profit event, and the Come Home East Hants association donates the funds raised during the weekend back to the community. In 2018, over $20,000 of profits went directly back to organizations including Corridor Community Options for Adults in Enfield, three local food banks, and the East Hants Family Resource Centre, among others. Plus, certain events raise funds for the specific organizations who help staff and organize the event, such as the case of the Ball Hockey Tournament, which is hosted by the Enfield Rugby Club.
A popular multi-prize raffle draw is back for 2019, which has altogether over the past two years raised over $25,000 for local groups including Girl Guides and sporting teams who volunteer to sell the tickets. This year once again, prizes include signed jerseys from Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby, and two tickets anywhere WestJet flies.
With everything involved in planning for the community’s biggest homecoming event, Boudreau says a lot of the success simply boils down to spreading the word.
“We’re heading into year three, so people are definitely more aware now of what Tide Fest is all about,” she says. “Right now, we’re letting everyone know it’s time to start getting excited again, make your plans, invite your family, buy your tickets. We know this will be the biggest year yet, and we still have some surprises and announcements up our sleeve.”
For more details about Tide Fest 2019, visit www.TideFest.ca. The festival will be held July 12-14 at the East Hants Sportsplex – tickets and registration are now open online, and full weekend music passes can be purchased at Shooters Bar & Grill, McNeill’s Shell, and Guardian locations in Elmsdale and Shubenacadie.