Nackawic Goes Disney

by | Aug 22, 2022

Large crowds attend Festival on the Bend 2022

If you saw Minnie Mouse walking down the street in Nackawic on Saturday, Aug. 20, you weren’t seeing things. The Town of Nackawic held their annual Festival on the Bend parade, and the theme was Nackawic Goes Disney.

The festival started a week earlier with a Car Show followed by UCW Ultimate Championship Wrestling at the arena on Saturday, Aug. 13. On Sunday, Aug. 14, families enjoyed a Selfie Scavenger Hunt along the Nackawic waterfront.

Other activities throughout the week included a Paint Night, Bingo, and a Little Miss Nackawic Pageant. And on Friday, Aug. 19, the Miss Nackawic Pageant was back after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Pageant Coordinator Karen Gillespie acknowledged that she was a bit nervous but felt the pageant flowed smoothly this year. There was even an exceptional performance by East Coast Music Award winner Tristan Horncastle. Gillespie said he was a big hit on stage and off.

Mayor Ian Kitchen acknowledged that it had been a long three years. Kitchen thanked the pageant committee, the Festival on the Bend committee, and the many sponsors and volunteers.

“Events like this couldn’t happen without you. Our small communities are built on volunteers,” said Kitchen. He called Sydney Sharpe ‘the longest serving Queen in Nackawic history’ due to the pandemic. Kitchen thanked her for representing Nackawic. He also thanked the pageant contestants.

“It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of an arena full of people,” said Kitchen. He mentioned he’s had the pleasure of either teaching or coaching the young women.

When Miss Nackawic 2019, Sydney Sharpe, gave her farewell message, she talked about how becoming Miss Nackawic forced her to step out of her comfort zone.

“It also taught me the importance of volunteering and being active in the community and how to be a role model and a leader,” said Sharpe. She noted how the past three years have been chaotic, with many events to attend.

“I was crowned Miss Nackawic in 2019, but unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I was unable to fulfill my duties in just one year, meaning I would continue to reign in 2020 and 2021,” she said. Sharpe told the audience she had enjoyed her reign and was happy to be able to represent the town in a variety of ways.

“During my reign, I’ve built friendships and relationships to last a lifetime.”

Sharpe thanked the Town of Nackawic for their support and gave some advice for the new Miss Nackawic.

“Enjoy every last moment of your reign because it sure goes by quickly.”

An extra award was presented at the pageant this year. Karen Gillespie, the Pageant Coordinator, explained that the committee decided to give a Joyce Gordon Memorial Award.

“Joyce had helped with the pageant for years. Anything we asked, she did. The award is based on Joyce’s community service, her love of community and her love of volunteering. The award went to the contestant that best represented Joyce,” said Gillespie.

The first Joyce Gordon Memorial Award was presented to contestant Jessica Patterson.
Other awards presented at the end of the evening were Miss Poster and Miss Autobiography, both given to Kyra Shannon, who also went on to win 1st Princess. Each contestant’s autobiography was judged on grammar and content. Lexi Brewer was crowned 2nd Princess. Miss Congeniality and the title of Miss Nackawic 2022 went to Charisma Farrell.

Farrell started her Miss Nackawic duties right away on Saturday, participating in the parade, and attending many of the events at the arena. She and her fellow contestants also served the crowd at the corn boil before giving her first speech on the axe that evening.

Saturday was a busy day with many different activities. They included a ham and bean dinner at the Lions Club, a street parade, and a yard sale at the Kirk United Church. In the arena and around the arena grounds were paintball, Cornelius the Balloon Guy, Bouncy Castles, Llama- Zing Adventures, and Magician Zap Magic. Classical guitar player Ewan Dobson started the entertainment on the arena stage. New Brunswick Showcase featuring various artists entertained the large crowd, followed by Gracie Myshrall, who gave a dance performance. There were also many different vendors at the arena.

In the evening, festival-goers enjoyed the annual corn boil sponsored by Ryan’s Pharmacy while the band Double D played on the World’s Largest Axe. The evening ended with an impressive fireworks display at dusk.

Festival on the Bend Chairperson, Donna Gagnon, said the week was a success with lots of positive feedback. She said both young and old enjoyed the wrestling show, and there was even a fan who travelled from Woodstock dressed in his wrestling outfit. She said she loved seeing how excited the kids were to watch the action-filled night of wrestlers. Gagnon also mentioned the fantastic display of fireworks which drew a huge crowd. But there won’t be much rest for the committee as Gagnon said they are already starting to think about ideas for Festival on the Bend 2023.

*Editors note: Thanks to Karen Howell for being our volunteer correspondent during Festival on the Bend! Much appreciated!

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