By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 16 (August 5, 2019)
Ferryland’s population just about doubled last month.
“We had a registration process, and we had 572 people registered, and I’d say out of about the 572 of those, I’d say definitely, 300, 350 were definitely come home,” explained Helen Clowe, chair of the Ferryland Come Home Year Committee.
A 2016 Statistics Canada census put the community’s population at 416.
People came from all across Canada, from Halifax to Ontario, Alberta to British Colombia, while still others came up from Boston, New York, Florida, and South Dakota.
“We spoke to a few that it was their first time in Ferryland, even though they had family here,” said Clowe. “A lot of people came back with their children and grand children. It was great to see everyone come home to enjoy the five days.”
Events kicked off on Wednesday, July 24, with the registration and opening ceremonies. Over the next four days, there was something for everyone; softball tournaments, hikes, laser tag and Zorb balls, special Masses, concerts, dances, a bike parade, dinner theatre, bonfire sing-along, dory races, the annual Shamrock Folk Festival, community meals, fireworks, and more.
“It was absolutely fabulous,” said Clowe. “Overall everything was great. It was a great five days.”
The organizing committee was formed about two years ago, and Clowe said it was a busy time preparing for the event, what she believes to be the first of it’s kind since 1966.
Dozens of sponsors, including Hibernia, whose representatives cut the ribbon on a colorful new outdoor classroom for Baltimore School, helped make the celebrations possible.
Clowe noted 2021 will mark the 400th anniversary since Lord Baltimore founded the Colony of Avalon in 1621.
And will there be celebrations to mark that milestone?
Maybe, although for now the volunteers in Ferryland need some well-deserved rest.
“Right now, I’m going to relax,” laughed Clowe. “We’re very pleased with what we’ve accomplished in the last two years.”