6 fun things to do on P.E.I. this last weekend of July
Many of this weekend's offerings are free of charge
COVID-19 has foiled many of our fun summer plans — but not all!
With the Atlantic bubble open since the beginning of July, you can treat yourself to a road trip anywhere in the Atlantic provinces.
Farmers markets are open Saturday and Sunday in Charlottetown.
Here are some more ideas for entertainment across the Island this last weekend of July.
1. The Island Drive-In Festival
Some of P.E.I.'s most popular annual events, including the Festival of Small Halls and Cavendish Beach Music Festival, are trying a drive-in model this summer of COVID.
The Island Drive-In Festival will showcase P.E.I. music, comedy, dance and storytelling, with more than 30 Island performers.
"The P.E.I. Mutual Festival of Small Halls began as a way to bring the arts back to rural communities, and true to our mandate, The Island Drive-In Festival will do the same," organizer Josh Ellis said a written news release. "The pandemic has been devastating to the arts community, and we are proud to offer these artists an opportunity to perform."
Three different performances will be shown throughout the summer — they were pre-recorded in P.E.I. locations that host live entertainment.
The festival will begin Friday, July 24 at the Brackley Drive-In and run weekly until mid-September. Gates open at 7 p.m. and cars must arrive no later than 8, with the show beginning at 9 p.m. Patrons are asked to remain in their cars unless using the washroom. No alcohol will be sold or permitted, and there is no smoking.
The festival will also be popping up at locations across P.E.I. with multiple screening dates.
The first film is about P.E.I.'s culture, diversity and traditions and will feature Lennie Gallant, Irish Mythen, Tim Chaisson, Vishtèn, Logan Richard and Vince The Messenger, Tzu-Cheng Wang, Mi'kmaq Heritage Actors, The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada and more.
There is no charge for admission. Tickets must be reserved in advance but there will be a stand-by line. For more information visit driveinpei.com or check out the festival's Facebook page.
2. Open-air concerts
Anne of Green Gables may have hung up her red braids for the first time in 56 years, but the Confederation Centre of the Arts has found a way to offer some entertainment, through a series of 12 small concerts in their outdoor ampitheatre every Wednesday and Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Set in the Sun series began this past Wednesday with a concert by Scott Parsons. Inn Echo will play Saturday.
Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the centre's website or box office. Only four tickets can be booked at a time, and only 40 tickets will be available per show.
3. Georgetown haunted walks
Haunted Walks of Historic Georgetown are being offered in the lovely little eastern P.E.I. seaside community. With tales of history and hauntings, this evening walk is a fun and informative way to spend an evening.
The walks start from the Kings Playhouse, which is itself said to be a hot spot for paranormal activity. They are held every night starting at 9:15 p.m. and take approximately 40 minutes.
4. Watermark Music Series, online
The Watermark Music Series is going ahead this summer, online instead of in person. The concerts will be live streamed while local musicians perform on the Watermark stage in North Rustico.
The concerts are free this year. To watch, simply go to the Watermark's Facebook page.
The first concert will be Sunday July 26 starting at 7:30 p.m. and will feature R&B classic songs from Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and more, starring P.E.I. artists Logan Richard, Joce Reyome, and Tiffany Liu, who plays the traditional Chinese pipa.
5. Ceilidhs at the B.I.S.
Many, many ceilidhs are held in small community and church halls across P.E.I. every summer. Most of them are cancelled this year due to COVID, but the Benevolent Irish Society at 582 North River Rd. is carrying on with its very popular Friday night ceilidhs.
This Friday at 8 p.m., its the popular group Tip 'Er Back with Allan Betts, Clive Curry and Wade Murray, who play Maritime favourites, traditional Gaelic, country and some original tunes.
Ceilidhs are planned at the hall until mid-November and will feature many popular acts, such as Fiddlers' Sons, Guinness, the Pendergast Family and the Chaisson Trio.
Admission is $15, and $5 for children 12 and under. To reserve tickets call (902) 218-3924 or take your chances at the door. There will be a maximum of 50 patrons allowed under COVID-19 restrictions. More info on the B.I.S. website.
6. Cavendish Beach Drive-In concert
The Cavendish Beach Drive-In Concert Series will hold the second of four summer concerts this Saturday night July 25. The concerts are a replacement for the huge Cavendish Beach Music Festival usually held over three or four days each July.
Saturday's concert will have live performances from Two Hours Traffic, Kinley, Rachel Beck, Logan Richard and Vince The Messenger. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the concert should wrap up by 10.
According to the series' Facebook page, guests will drive onto the concert grounds in Cavendish, following staff directions for physical distancing, and stay in their vehicles. There will be several bathroom facilities. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available using an app.
Tickets are $78 per vehicle, $47 for a motorcycle and about $23 for an individual, and are available on the series Facebook page.