6 fun things to do on P.E.I. this weekend
Our regular summer column, but with physical distancing and hand sanitizer
What's your plan for the summer? While large concerts and some lobster dinners have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, easing of restrictions means there's still plenty to do on P.E.I.
Here's a list of some things you and your family can enjoy — just remember public health guidelines, including keeping a two-metre distance from others, using lots of hand sanitizer and wearing a face mask if possible.
Government House grounds
The gorgeous and peaceful grounds and gardens at the lieutenant governor's mansion in Charlottetown, known as Fanningbank, opened to the public starting this week.
They're offering free guided walking tours of up to 10 people, with physical distancing, until the end of the summer. Tours are every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, starting at the gatehouse.
You might even catch a glimpse of the Queen's representative on P.E.I., the very affable Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry.
Does this count as 1 or 7 fun things?
Provincial museum sites across the Island opened last week, with new protocols in place adhering to COVID-19 restrictions including Plexiglas barriers, hand sanitizing and contact tracing.
The seven sites include Green Park Shipbuilding Museum and Yeo House, the Acadian Museum, Eptek Art and Culture Centre, Orwell Corner Historic Village, Beaconsfield Historic House, Basin Head Fisheries Museum and Elmira Railway Museum.
Buy a family passport to all seven sites for $50 or $18 for an individual. The passport also offers discounts on experiences at some of the sites, like horse and wagon rides. Buy them and find more info on the foundation's website here.
CBMF drive-In concerts begin
The annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival usually attracts as many as 25,000 people to listen to country music for a weekend in July.
Thanks to the pandemic, this year's event will look a lot different — it has been rebranded as the Cavendish Beach Drive-In Concert Series.
It will feature live performances over four dates, starting this Saturday July 11 with Irish Mythen, Ben Chase, Brooke MacArthur, Cory Gallant and the Red Dirt Posse, and Inn Echo.
Future dates will feature Two Hours Traffic, Kinley, Vince the Messenger, Dylan Menzie, Trinity Bradshaw, Lennie Gallant, Catherine MacLellan and more.
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, or $47 for a motorcycle, and are available on the series Facebook page.
Food and shopping
Many venues for food and shopping are open for the summer, including two of P.E.I.'s largest: the Founders' Food Hall and Market on the Charlottetown waterfront, and the many shops and eateries along the Cavendish boardwalk.
With only seasonal residents and tourists from the Atlantic region keeping tourism numbers low, those who have opened are calling it a survival season — they are not expecting much in the way of profits.
The Mont-Carmel summer concert series wasn't going to let COVID-19 slow it down — it's hosting its shows from Mont-Carmel virtually instead of in person.
The second live show will happen this Sunday, July 12, and features the incredibly talented award-winning trio Vishtèn.
This summer's concerts are all free — just tune in here at 7 p.m. Sunday to listen.
Watch the ECMAs
CBC will broadcast the East Coast Music Awards on Saturday starting at 9 p.m. AT on CBC television and the CBC Gem app.
The awards show was scheduled to happen April 30 in St. John's, N.L., but the pandemic scuttled that plan.
Instead, you can watch a pre-recorded special, hosted as originally planned by comedian Mary Walsh. P.E.I.'s own Rose Cousins will be one of the performers, along with Wintersleep, Eastern Owl, Matt Mays and more.
Nine awards will be given out during the show including album of the year. P.E.I.'s East Pointers are nominated in six categories, while Jenn Grant is up for four awards.