We just finished a tour of the brigade route, meeting with our host communities from Florenceville-Bristol to Saint John. It was a great tour as the communities along the river are really onboard with our theme of making the brigade a true celebration of this heritage river. Our opening in Florenceville-Bristol will immediately follow a special Canada-NB 150 event on July 15, and will feature two aboriginal groups, the Muskrat Drummers and Singers and a female singing group led by Krista Dawn Paul. We have community suppers lined up in Woodstock, Nackawic, Gagetown, and our closing kitchen party in Saint John. We also have a couple of breakfasts and lunches arranged with our host communities.
Fredericton will be a highlight as we will be greeted by the NB Lieutenant-Governor, Her Honor Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, and we will camp on the grounds of Government House. There are other events being organized for Fredericton as well, so stay tuned. We will be visiting a number of small communities with public wharves owned by our partner – the St. John River Society. We hope to bring attention to the river and the potential for recreation using these wharves.
Paddling is the main attraction for a brigade and we will have lots with most days seeing us cover 40 to 50 kms, while we cover 60 km in one day. At our start in Florenceville, the river is free flowing but quickly changes when we reach the headpond of the Mactaquac Dam. After the dam, we encounter stretches with many small islands and finally, we reach tidal flow as we near Saint John. We will be attempting to paddle through the Reversing Falls to our final arrival ceremony at Market Slip in Saint John Harbour, covering 280 kms in 7 days of paddling.
Stay tuned for more updates – follow us on Twitter @sjrbrigade as we tweet any new info.