Within reach: Miramichi, New Brunswick, a perfect stop on the festival circuit

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Canada’s Irish Festival: July 14 – 17

Every year, thousands gather along the glorious Miramichi River to celebrate their Irish heritage with parades, live musical performances, Irish crafts, and the opportunity to research family history and heritage. Info and schedule, and to purchase concert tickets: canadasirishfest.com/

The 59th Miramichi Folksong Festival: July 31 – August 5

Miramichi is home to Canada’s longest standing folksong festival, featuring five days of traditional and contemporary music. From story songs passed on by lumberjacks to modern day troubadours singing their own compositions, this festival has a unique yet traditional flavor. Highlights include evening concerts, luncheons, and breakfasts with live music, and a free barn dance workshop in jig time, where guests learn 19th century dances. Weekly passes cost $75 and include all evening shows and the closing dinner/theatre (breakfast or noon luncheons are not included). Info and tickets: miramichifolksongfestival.com.

Central N.B. Woodmen’s Lumberjack Competition: August 13

Witness professional lumberjacks as they compete in time-honoured traditions and skills. Competition highlights include ax throwing, log cutting, the springboard chop, and “best man on the log.” It’s on noon – 5pm at the Central New Brunswick Woodsmen’s Museum historic site and features a BBQ, award ceremony, traditional lumberjack supper, and a chance to meet World, Canadian, and Maritime Timbersport champions. All events take place on the grounds of the Woodmen’s Museum historic site.

Admission is $5 per person or $15 for families, and includes competition and museum. VIP passes cost $12, and include one BBQ ticket, admission to competition and museum, and a souvenir.

Info and tickets: woodmensmuseum.com.

Miramichi Scottish Festival: August 19 – 21

A celebration of Scottish culture, Miramichi’s own Scottish Highland Games features traditional music (piping, bands, drumming, Scottish harp, fiddling), dancing, the ceilidh (traditional Gaelic gathering), and athletics.

Talented players, dancers and pipers, including Fochabers Fiddlers from Scotland, perform.

Info: miramichiscottishfestival.com.

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