7 fun things to do this first weekend of August on P.E.I.
Free music, the return of theatre and a big outdoor Pride party
With summer at pretty much its halfway mark, we hope you've already had some time to enjoy this fabulous season.
The roads are quieter — no traffic jams in Cavendish this year, with only other Atlantic Canadians, seasonal residents and family members of P.E.I. residents permitted to visit.
You should have no problem getting out and about for some physically-distanced fun — take along your hand sanitizer and mask in case you need them.
Here are some options for entertainment this weekend.
1. Proud on P.E.I.
P.E.I.'s Pride Festival is wrapping up, after a week of physically-distanced fun including an online scavenger hunt, a poetry slam, drag queen story time, educational zoom talks and more.
The annual Pride parade through Charlottetown has been cancelled this year, but a virtual version will take its place Saturday at 1 p.m. Pride board members John Kimmel and Ash Arsenault will take over the airwaves at P.E.I. radio station HOT 105.5 for a 90-minute dance party.
Saturday night at the Brackley Drive-In, organizers of Pride After Dark are promising "the largest outdoor Pride party this Island has ever seen! (Think Much Music video dance party, but gayer.)"
"We're committed to bringing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community together in a socially responsible way," the Facebook event page says. The party will feature local drag superstars Lady Fefe Fierce, Gladys Saturday and Demona DeVille, and be hosted virtually by Wilma Checklear and Canada's Drag Race contestant Priyanka. There will be DJ sets from Good Neighbour (Colin Buchanan). Tickets are $40 per carload or $70 per RV.
Sunday there's a Pride Brunch at the Pilot House in Charlottetown. At 5:30, watch a half-hour pre-recorded concert by Irish Mythen, part of the week's Pride Unplugged Series in which LGBTQ musicians from P.E.I. perform original pieces along with cover songs that feel express their pride.
2. John Connolly in concert
P.E.I. musician John Connolly will be live at the Trailside in Charlottetown at the Holman Grand Hotel Saturday and Sunday nights. These are his only live shows this summer and he said on his Facebook page he "can't wait to hit the stage."
Connolly is not only an award-winning singer/songwriter, he has produced albums for other artists, and has written, performed, and directed theatre, film, radio and television.
You'll be treated to some songs Connolly is recording for a new album this summer.
Tickets are $25 and are available here or at Back Alley Music in Charlottetown.
3. The Songs of Anne and Gilbert
The full musical production Anne and Gilbert at The Guild in Charlottetown — the sequel to Anne of Green Gables — is cancelled this summer due to COVID-19, but is being replaced with a concert of the most memorable music and dance numbers from the show. Seating will be physically distanced and the audience is capped at 50 people.
The Songs of Anne and Gilbert began Tuesday, and features a live band with singers and dancers led by Morgan Wagner as Anne and Jacob Hemphill as Gilbert.
The concert version will include crowd favourites You're Island Through and Through and Someone Handed Me the Moon, as well as never-before-heard songs written for the production by Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser. There will also be as music about Anne of Green Gables written by other Atlantic Canadian songwriters.
Tickets range from about $45 to $68 and can be purchased on TicketPro. The show runs 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday — except Tuesday and Wednesdays, when performances are 2 p.m. matinees — and goes dark Saturdays.
It's scheduled to run until the end of October.
4. Theatre for kids
The Guild Musical Theatre School has a couple of fun performances planned for kids in August.
Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland share a double bill on select days August 3 through 24. On other days, child-size versions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as Hansel and Gretel take centre stage.
All but two are matinees starting at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $19 each and can be purchased on The Guild's website.
5. Waterfront Music Series
Concerts at Confederation Landing Park are going ahead this summer despite COVID-19, with physical distancing. There are different live performers every day from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. in the gazebo.
This Saturday it's David Woodside in the afternoon and Logan Richard in the evening. Sunday it's Macaroon in the afternoon and Bridgette Blanchard as the sun sets over the water.
Take in the free shows from a seat on the grass, bring a picnic or enjoy some of the many nearby eateries.
For a list of performers through till Sept. 1, check out Discover Charlottetown's website.
6. St. Peters Blueberry Festival
The St. Peters Bay Wild Blueberry Festival is one of few small country festivals that's still going ahead despite the pandemic.
There will not be the traditional parade, bingo at the local campground and dance at the rink.
Instead, on Saturday there will be a community yard sale at locations throughout St. Peters, followed by the softball tournament championship game at 6:30. A concert with Killin' Time will be virtual via the festival's Facebook page from 9 to 10 p.m.
Sunday the blueberry brunch will be pick-up only (tickets purchased in advance). There will be childrens events hosted on the Facebook page throughout the weekend, as well as a scavenger hunt.
All the info is on the festival's Facebook page.
7. Music at Founders' Hall
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 4 to 6 p.m. in August, enjoy some music on the licensed deck at Founders' Food Hall at the end of Prince Street on the Charlottetown waterfront.
Saturday, it's Joce Reyome. If you haven't heard Reyome sing and play, you're in for a treat — self-described as "an old voice in modern times," their professionally trained voice can be big and brash, or quiet and intimate, and always with soul baked right in.
Details on the event's Facebook page.