New Brunswick

Countdown is on for Area 506 festival in Saint John

Area 506 festival will take place in Saint John over the New Brunswick Day long weekend in August.

Organizers say 2nd year of festival celebrating all things New Brunswick will be bigger and better

Area 506 festival is expected to take place over the New Brunswick Day long weekend in Saint John in a celebration of the cultures of the province. (Area 506 Facebook page)

Saint John's Area 506, the festival celebrating the music, art, food and culture of New Brunswick, will be back again this summer.

Area 506 will return the weekend of Aug. 5 and 6, but this year there will also be events the Friday before and Monday after.

"We just want to put a smile on the face of everyone in the province … and be able to create some kind of national-scale event that could attract people from all over," said Ray Gracewood, chair of the festival.

Gracewood said his goal this year is to blow everyone's expectations out of the water.

"Last year, we had a lot of success," he said. "Last year we had a lot of luck."

Details surrounding a Friday night event in uptown Saint John will be announced shortly and on Monday there will be a matinee in partnership with Imperial Theatre, showcasing Dazed and Confused at 2 p.m. followed by brunches at places all over uptown.

Area 506 chair Ray Gracewood hopes to see crowd numbers increase for this year's festival. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Numerous restaurants and food trucks will help with the celebration of the diversity of food created in New Brunswick.

Visitors can also expect to see an area set aside just for kids, which will include face painting and a number of other activities down to Long Wharf.

Another favourite will be the container village along Port Saint John's Long Wharf, which will open at 2 p.m. until midnight on Saturday and Sunday and include 100 exhibitors, cultural groups and vendors.

"The reaction to that has been absolutely incredible," he said.

All things New Brunswick

Last year, the festival brought a number of international and New Brunswick acts to Saint John and the same can be expected this year.

Playing on the main stage are mainstream acts such as Tegan and Sara, the Strumbellas, Bahamas, Stars, and Matt Mays.

Also to be featured this year are New Brunswick artists David Myles, Les Hay Babies and Jessica Rhaye.

A second stage will show off cultural acts, along with New Brunswick bands, including David in the Dark, Penny Blacks, and Mike Biggar.

New Brunswick beers on offer

"Any time the event is celebrated is a good thing," Gracewood said in an interview with Information Morning Saint John. "It brings more attention to the event."

This year's event will also include a craft beer garden featuring New Brunswick breweries.

Gracewood is hopeful the event will bring more people to Saint John and become a place where people come to visit over the New Brunswick Day long weekend every year. 

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Area 506 festival website.

With files from Information Morning Saint John, Matthew Bingley