The Exploits Valley Salmon Festival
By Allison Furlong, Grade 12, St. Gabriel's All Grade, St. Brendan's, NL
I was, standing in thirty degree weather, surrounded by ecstatic fans who were
loving the music as much as I was. There were arms and limbs flying everywhere
as body surfers flew by overhead. Every few minutes, the ever distinct smell of
marijuana filled the air, which was then replaced by the much anticipated spray
of cool water against my skin.
No, this wasn’t Woodstock, this was The Exploits Valley Salmon Festival 2003.
Held in the quiet, little town of Grand Falls Windsor, Newfoundland, The
Exploits Valley Salmon Festival began in 1985 as a celebration in honour of
migrating Atlantic Salmon. But over the past nineteen years, the festival has
quickly grown into quite an international event. Being recognized as one of the
Top 100 Events in North America, it has staged such top Canadian acts as Blue
Rodeo, Chantel Kreviazuk, I Mother Earth, Matthew Good Band, Nelly Furtado, Tea
Party, and many others. This year’s event proved to be a huge success as well,
with such acts as Bif Naked, Sam Roberts, Swollen Members, Tom Cochrane & Red
Rider, and Newfoundland’s own Great Big Sea.
Another highlight which is probably as acclaimed as the concert itself, is
the camp site. A new camp site (same name) ‘Red Cliff Rocks’, was introduced,
which had space for 1100 concert-goers, 400 more than the previous campsite.
With over 1000 people at the campsite, and endless dancing and partying for
nearly 48 hours straight, Red Cliff, once again, lived up to its name. There
were even a few celebrity sightings, with the guys from Swollen Members and Sam
Roberts roaming about, kindly signing autographs and smiling for the occasional
camera (which I have proof of -yay!)
Although I don’t see how this years concert could be topped, rumours have it
that it will be-somehow. Next year is the 20th anniversary, which will, no
doubt, be celebrated in a way that only us Newfoundlanders can.
Sounds fun huh? Visit
http://www.salmonfestival.com for more
info. See you next summer!
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