ELMSDALE: East Hants’ first-ever homecoming weekend will take place next summer. Tide Fest, presented by the Come Home East Hants Association, will happen July 14-16, 2017 at the East Hants Sportsplex.
Tide Fest will run from Friday to Sunday and will feature events that are sure to please people of all ages. The weekend’s main events include the East Hants Sport Hall of Fame event, a Play-On style ball hockey tournament, potentially the World’s Largest Washer Toss Tournament, and concerts featuring local and Nova Scotian talent.
As an active member of the community on many levels, Kody Blois had a vision for a special weekend that would bring the residents of East Hants together while celebrating all the Municipality has to offer. This motivated him to form a group of like-minded individuals to launch the Come Home East Hants Association.
“We wanted to create an event that draws past and current residents of East Hants to come together and celebrate our community,” said Blois, the Association’s president.
“Our goal is to make this an annual event – a homecoming festival similar to the Riverfront Jubilee in New Glasgow or the Apple Blossom weekend in the Annapolis Valley,” said Blois.
Things are already well underway to prepare for Tide Fest. The association’s board has been formed and some funding has been secured.
The board is comprised of various community leaders, local businesses and associations. Proud partners of Tide Fest include Shooters Bar & Grill, Enfield RFC, Hants North Minor Ball Association, and the East Hants Sportsplex.
“As a central place of gathering for the community, we believe the Sportsplex is an ideal host for this event and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Todd Williams, who serves as both the Tide Fest secretary and the president of the East Hants Arena Association.
Although they’re not involved with the organizations mentioned above, Tide Fest co-chairs Rod and Pam Dickie of Enfield believed in the concept from day one.
“When Kody phoned me proposing the idea, I told him there is only so much that gets me excited. But this concept, and what Tide Fest can mean for East Hants, is truly exciting,” said Rod Dickie, who also serves as vice-president of the Come Home East Hants Association. “We’re very pleased to lend a helping hand.”
Blois was quick to mention that the event is being created with a focus on benefitting the community. All proceeds from the event will go towards supporting organizations in East Hants.
A $10,000 commitment per year for the next four years from the Municipality of East Hants has helped provide some seed money to start investing local for the event.
CCOA, Corridor Community Options for Adults, has already felt the benefits of Tide Fest as they were approached to build the boxes required for the Washer Toss Tournament. “Ross Young and the entire group at CCOA do amazing work and we’re glad we can help support them,” said Blois.
Even the Tide Fest name supports local. “We wanted a name that was inclusive to those outside of East Hants who may be interested in coming. We are known for having the world’s highest tides, so that’s where it originated,” said Blois.
Next steps for the association include seeking private sponsorship from local stakeholders and organizations in the community and continuing their planning phase.
Although details are still being confirmed, Tide Fest also hopes to include crib, card and dart tournaments, a kid’s fair and a farmer’s market.