2018 Special events in Mainland Nova Scotia
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Sunday, April 29
7th Annual MEC Halifax Citadel Run with a Highlander
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and Parks Canada bring you the chance to run through the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and experience 19th century history in a whole new way! Three races are offered including a Kid’s Fun Run, 5K and 10K. To register for the races, call MEC for more information: 902-421-2667.
Parks Canada and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo are pleased to host the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) Band for a FREE Sunset Ceremony concert, inside the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site on Friday, June 29th. The 90 minute concert is part of the 2018 Tattoo Festival that will see Tattoo entertainers perform at different locations around Halifax. Under the direction of Captain Chris Embree, this is the RCA Band’s first time participating in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.
The Halifax Citadel’s 78th Highlanders will join in the performance with a military drill demonstration and artillery field gun display. Doors open at 7pm, concert begins at 7:30 pm. Guests are asked to bring their own chair; parking and refreshments available onsite. Don’t miss the opportunity for an historic evening performance!
Sunday, July 1
Canada Day Celebrations
Celebrate Canada’s 151st Birthday with FREE admission to the Halifax Citadel – a Confederation-era site! It all starts with the firing of the iconic noon gun followed by the traditional 21-gun salute. Enjoy bands, choirs, 78th Highlander military performances, presentations and don’t miss the official Canada Day cake served by a 78th Highlander. Bring your friends and family and enjoy the atmosphere while you celebrate this significant milestone in our history as a nation!
July 5 to October 27
(Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights)
Halifax Citadel Ghost Tours
Join a spirited tour of the historic fort after dark and discover the haunted secrets and fascinating history of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Tours are 70 minutes long starting at 8:30 pm at the front gate. For fees or to book a private or group tour, call 902-426-1990. Purchase your tickets online at www.eventbrite.com. Cancellations will be posted on Facebook.
Saturday, July 28
78th Highlanders Presentation of Colours Ceremony
Celebrate the Halifax Citadel Society’s (formerly Halifax Citadel Regimental Association) 25th anniversary and catch the impressive Presentation of Colours ceremony. In the 19th century, “Colours” were consecrated flags carried by military units that provided a rallying point for infantry regiments in the line of battle. Emblazoned with regimental crests and battle honours, the Colours were the units’ most prized possessions. Join us to view the 78th Highlanders re-enact this historic activity in honour of this milestone.
August 4 & 5
100 Days to Peace: the Last Campaign of the First World War
The Hundred Days, also known as Canada’s Hundred Days, was the final campaign of the First World War and the finest achievement of the Canadian Corps. To mark the centennial of the series of battles that led to peace on November 11th, the Halifax Citadel will tell the story of Canada’s role through special exhibits, activities and presentations. In addition to enhanced displays in the full scale Trench exhibit and Hometown Heroes panels, visitors will be able to interact with re-enactors in period costume, learn more about 1918 battle tactics and witness a Lee-Enfield and Vickers Machine gun firing display. 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice and also the final year for the Trench exhibit so don't miss the opportunity to learn more about the events that helped shaped our nation.
Friday, August 24
Freedom of the City with the 78th Highlanders
Freedom of the City is an honour granted to military or paramilitary groups in recognition of their service to a municipality. Since 1998, the 78th Highlanders has exercised this privilege by marching through the streets of Halifax with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and Colours flying. Take in the special squad inspection inside the Halifax Citadel starting at 11:00 am and then after the noon gun, follow the Highlanders to Grand Parade and onto Government House. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to celebrate ‘Confederation-era pageantry’ in 2018!
Revolutionary War Encampment, The Second Citadel in the age of Revolution Encampment
Members of various Maritime living history groups will set up a military camp inside the Halifax Citadel depicting the time of the American Revolution, when thousands of Loyalists immigrated to Nova Scotia and made a significant contribution to a new country that would eventually become Canada. Details of camp life, camp cooking, washing, everyday tasks, blacksmithing and children’s games will be featured and on Saturday afternoon a mock battle will take place on the slope of Citadel Hill. The Encampment runs Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm.
First World War Commemorations at the Halifax Citadel
Parks Canada, and the Army Museum Halifax Citadel are honoured to commemorate the centennial of the end of the Great War during a special Remembrance Day weekend. The Halifax Citadel and Army Museum will be open 10AM to 3PM on both days with free admission. Visitors are invited to tour select exhibits including the impressive 300 ft. First World War Trench exhibit and the brand new ‘Shaping the Hill’ multi-media exhibit.
Of special note, the Army Museum will host an open house on Saturday, November 10th, from 10AM to 3PM for veterans, their families and members of the public to visit their First World War exhibit, Road to Vimy and Beyond, which honours the sacrifice of the soldiers, many of them from Nova Scotia. In addition, visitors are invited to watch a special short film entitled “George”, during this commemorative weekend. Shot in Nova Scotia by Breakwater Studios, this moving film tells the story of George Price, a Nova Scotia soldier, and the last Commonwealth soldier to die in action on November 11, 1918. On Sunday, November 11th, the 1st Field Artillery Regiment will fire a 21-gun salute from the Citadel’s saluting battery starting at 11AM followed by the noon gun.
29th Annual Victorian Christmas
Make your way to the Halifax Citadel as the historic fort takes on a festive air with Victorian carols, crafts, games and, of course, Father Christmas. Enjoy some hot cider and don’t miss the Parks Canada Victorian photo booth - it’s the perfect way to capture some holiday magic to share with family and friends. Event runs 12 noon to 4 pm both days and admission is free with a donation to FEED NOVA SCOTIA (non-perishable food item or cash donation).
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Tour de Keji Omnium
Voted the 2017 "Race of the Year" by Bicycle Nova Scotia, the 2018 Tour de Keji will once again bring the top cyclists from all over Atlantic Canada to Kejimkujik for two days of fast-paced action on the Park's paved roads. Organized by Roadents Competitive Cycling, the omnium features an aerodynamic individual time trial, a high-energy circuit race, and a colourful mass-start road race. Competitors, volunteers and spectators of all ages are invited to attend. Kids with bikes can partake with a special race just for them. Plan a weekend adventure - bring your camping equipment or try one of Keji's roofed accommodations including oTENTik's, rustic cabins and yurt.
Thursday, June 21
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Drop-in to the Merrymakedge area between 11am and 2pm for a variety of on-site activities and demonstrations, such as traditional birch bark canoe building, medicinal tea and bread tasting, survival skills demonstrations, and more. School groups welcome, call (902) 682-3263 to book your school visit.
Sunday, July 1
Canada Day Celebrations
Come celebrate Canada’s 151st Birthday at Kejimkujik, along with FREE admission, early morning visitors and campers can enjoy a FREE pancake breakfast served up by the Friends of Keji volunteers and Keji staff in Jeremy’s Bay Campground. Join us at 9:30 am and be sure to arrive on time, as quantities may be limited. Talk about a fun and relaxing way to start your Canada Day celebrations!
Saturday, July 21
Savour the Seaside at Kejimkujik Seaside
1188 St. Catherines River Road, Port Joli, NS B0T 1S0
2018 is a special year for Kejimkujik Seaside. Thirty years ago, this important ecosystem was designated as part of Kejimkujik National Park to provide protection for the unique coastal attributes of the region. To mark the occasion, we’ve invited the Kilted Chef, Alain Bossé and his team, to cook an unforgettable and delectable feast! Join us for an afternoon at Harbour Rocks Beach; learn why this place is so important while you enjoy traditional Nova Scotian fare. More details to follow.
Learn-to Camp Weekend
Never camped before but curious about this truly Canadian tradition? The Learn-to Camp program will introduce you and your family to the basics of camping, from packing to tenting and campfire cooking. Over the course of the weekend, participants will have the opportunity to attend special programs and activities offered in Kejimkujik! Learn-to Camp is presented in partnership with MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and our friends, ‘A for Adventure’. Cost $44 per adult, $22 per child (6-16) and free for 5 years and under (tax included). Registration begins May 11th, call 1-844-365-2646. Reserve early, space is limited. For more information visit Learn to Camp.
Saturday, August 4
Kejimkujik’s 49th Birthday Party
Join us in Jeremy’s Bay Campground in celebration of this momentous occasion for a slew of fun activities including a Bicycle Poker Rally, the Keji Tintamarre Birthday Parade, cupcakes and lemonade, a group campfire, star-gazing and more! Campers and visitors are invited to participate. More details to follow online.
August 17 - 19
Dark Sky Weekend
Search Kejimkujik’s spectacular night skies for planets, galaxies, constellations and much more in Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve! There will be stories and discoveries for all ages. Plan to camp or stay overnight close by – you don’t want to miss the show. Presented in partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC).
Saturday, September 22nd
Gourmet Fall Night Hike to Peter Point
Take a hike out to Peter Point to reveal a beautiful sunset and watch as the moon and stars take the stage in one of the darkest spots in Keji. The perfect place to enjoy beer tasting and food pairing offered by Boxing Rock Brewing Co. (19 and over only). To enhance the experience knowledgeable RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) volunteers and Keji guides will be on hand to entertain and educate. Tickets available May 18th, $22 per person (tax included). Tickets are limited, so reserve early to avoid disappointment. Call (902)682-2772 to register.
September 22 - 23
Keji Multisport Festival: Women’s Triathlon and Mixed Team Relay
Capture the magic of endurance sport in lush forests, meandering rivers and a rich cultural landscape. Athletes of all abilities are encouraged to embrace the challenge with a sense of adventure and fun. Events will include a day of triathlon racing in 2 distances, and skills workshops in other complimentary outdoor pursuits open to female participants, friends and family. Camp or stay close by and participate in evening activities. Sunday will be dedicated to Keji Mixed Triathlon Relays & Skills Camp for more experienced and youth triathletes.
For more information and to register visit: Kejimultisport.wordpress.com
Saturday September 29
Savour the Trail
Discover a unique way to savour the fall at Keji. Take to the trails and experience stunning colours and sample delicious flavours – served up by Mother Nature, NS Community College’s culinary arts students of Lunenburg Campus and participating local suppliers. Enjoy a variety of nature-inspired and locally sourced dishes and beverages while hiking among the beautiful fall scenery of Kejimkujik. It will satisfy your soul, and your palate. Mark your calendar now!
For more information: Savour the trail
Soak up the brilliant colours of fall and enjoy what has become one of Kejimkujik’s most popular weekends of the year! Participate in the annual Pumpkin Carving Contest, the Haunted Jaunt, and take the plunge at the annual Cold Turkey swim. It’s the perfect weekend to spend with friends and family.
Fort Anne and Port-Royal National Historic Sites
June 1 to October 15
Annapolis Royal Candlelight Graveyard Tour
Tour one of the oldest English graveyards in Canada! Presented by The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, 75 minute tours are held 7 nights a week in July, August, September and October 1-15 at 9:30 pm (rain or shine). Plus every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in June. Meet at the Fort Anne parking lot. Visit tourannapolisroyal.com/graveyard.html or call 902-532-3035 for more information.
Sunday, July 1
Canada Day Celebrations at Fort Anne & Port-Royal
Celebrate Canada’s 151st birthday with FREE admission to both of Annapolis Royal’s National Historic Sites. Begin your day at Fort Anne and engage all your senses - sing “O Canada” as you proudly watch the flag raised at Town Hall; join Parks Canada’s mascot, Parka, in the procession to the fort; savour a piece of cake; set out your blanket for a picnic and enjoy the musical entertainment. Or head over to Port-Royal for music and cake. A fun-filled day for whole family starting at 12 noon - 3 pm at Fort Anne, and 1 pm - 3 pm at Port-Royal.
Sunday, July 15
Mi’kmaw Culture Day at Port-Royal
Come and experience the history and traditions of the Mi’kmaq, a culture that has been here for thousands of years. Sing a Mi’kmaw song, accompany the song with a drum, participate in the ancient game of “waltes” and interact with Mi’kmaw craftspeople. Through demonstrations, singing and drumming you’ll gain a further appreciation for the unique culture of the first people of this land, 1 pm - 4 pm.
July 12, July 26, August 9 & August 23
Traditional Music on Thursday’s at Port-Royal
If you enjoy traditional music, mark these special Thursdays on your calendar this summer! Come and enjoy talented entertainers in a special traditional musical series featuring local musicians. Clap your hands, tap your feet and listen to the fine singers and musicians from 1 pm - 3 pm each day. Stay tuned for more information.
Parks Day Weekend at Fort Anne
Enjoy special programming this weekend in honour of Parks Day! Join a guided tour of the Vauban fortifications, $4.90 per person (English 10 am/French 2 pm daily) or a ‘White Glove’ behind the scene tour of the museum, $9.80 per person (Bilingual tour 11 am and 3 pm daily). Afterwards, relax while playing a game of Edwardian Croquet on the parade square!
Sunday, July 22
Massed Band Concert at Fort Anne
As part of Annapolis Royal’s Band Fest, bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy an afternoon of fine music from 2 pm - 4 pm on the grounds of Fort Anne! Bring the family and a picnic lunch and soak in the ambiance of music playing in this historic place. This is a fair weather event.
July 28- 29
Victorian Cricket matches at Fort Anne
Fort Anne is thrilled to host the 6th annual historic Cricket Tournament. The crack of willow on leather will once again be heard in the Ancient Home of Cricket in Nova Scotia from 1 pm – 4 pm. The matches, complete with a traditional players' tea break between innings, will be contested wearing uniforms of the 1890's. Come and cheer on your favourite team!
Sunday, July 29
Construction Traditions at Port-Royal
Crafts people share their skill and knowledge of some of the traditional techniques that were used to reconstruct the Port-Royal Habitation. Take in demonstrations in hewing timbers, making shingles, turning wood, making handles for tools and blacksmithing. Compare what you see being done by the artisans with the present work underway to restore the walls, palisade and roofs of the Habitation. This is the opportunity to truly appreciate the architecture of this very unique structure, 1 pm - 4 pm.
Friday, August 3 (evening) – Sunday, August 5 (noon)
Encampment Days at Fort Anne
Stoll around the encampment of the 84th Regiment of Foot 2nd Battalion (Royal Highland Emigrants) and enjoy the sights, the smells, and the sounds of black powder musketry, outdoor cooking and life in an 18th century military camp. The 84th Regiment creates a vivid picture of the conditions of centuries-old military life. Saturday afternoon (weather permitting) a tactical battle features 18th century military techniques.
Sunday, August 19
Sharing Cultural Alliances and Traditions at Port-Royal
Acadiens-Métis Souriquois Day
The Mi’kmaq welcomed the French to Port-Royal over 400 years ago - the two cultures met and shared experiences and knowledge, forging a strong friendship and alliance. This alliance would eventually lead to intermarriage between the Mi’kmaq and the French. Descendants of this alliance, the members of the Association des Acadiens-Métis-Souriquois, will share their rich heritage and culture with visitors from 1 pm - 4 pm.
York Redoubt National Historic Site
August 4, 11, 18 and 25
Think you might want to experience the pleasure of overnight camping but just need a helping hand? Register for Parks Canada's overnight Learn-to Camp program beside the ocean, just 15 minutes outside of Halifax!
The overnight Learn-to Camp program introduces visitors to camping in a fun and safe way. Parks Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) have teamed up to teach the art of setting-up camp, enjoying the outdoors safely, roasting the perfect marshmallow and more, while providing you with the skills necessary for a successful night under a starry sky.
These low-cost, overnight camping experiences take place at York Redoubt National Historic Site. Camping gear and workshops are provided; participants bring their own food and sleeping bags. Cost $44 per adult, $22 per child (6-16) and free for 5 years and under (tax included). Registration begins May 11th, call 1-844-365-2646. Reserve early, space is limited. For more information visit Learn to Camp.