MOSER RIVER—If you want to now how a small community marks its past, present and future, look no further than the hardy, happy, hosting community of Moser River. Specifically, look no further than Moser River Days, now celebrating its 45th year, which unfurled under blistering heat and humidity last weekend (July 22-24) to nothing but smiles.
Here, purveyors of local jewellery, preserves, maple syrup, books, garments and other goodies attracted hundreds from communities as near as Harrigan Cove, Moosehead and Necum Teuch, and as far away as Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke. Here, a grown-up penny auction fired away, as fire truck tours, face painting, colouring contests, and ‘games galore’ entertained kids of all ages. Here, there were suppers and lunches and fireworks; flower displays and a giant, old-fashioned kitchen party accompanied by the eclectic sounds of The Coastal Chicks acoustic band.
There was laughter and conviviality and community. And, said one of the main organizers, Molly Gammon, that’s what it’s all about.
That’s what it’s always been all about.
“People always come home for Moser River Days,” she noted breathlessly between moments of counting heads, tickets and her blessings. “It’s part of reuniting, and seeing old friends and the history that encompasses the area. Moser River Days really blossomed in 1975, when we were invited to take part in the Seaside Festival [typically in August] in Sheet Harbour. And then, after that, the River Community Centre here felt that we could do more by just having Moser River Days. We had probably thousands of people coming. And all the organizations in the community would have booths. There were all sorts of things.”
There still are all sorts of things. And that’s important, maybe now more than ever.
“It’s kind of back to basics since COVID,” Gammon said. “This is an important event for community [integration]. Here, you understand that your neighbour really is your neighbour. People here never really live in isolation anyway. They always helped one another. But here you see it more, and see how that works.”
There wasn’t a parade this year – another compromise in these pandemic times – but its absence hardly dampened the enthusiasm on display. And, if the recent past is any indication, the momentum will continue to roll on through the sometimes tough and dislocated times into the years ahead.
“Since 2015, we’ve grown from a day-and-a-half to three days,” Gammon said. “We make it a weekend event. The most important thing is that we come together to showcase the amazing talent and people who are here. Everybody is welcome.”
Welcomed, indeed, to a place that knows how to throw a party – a party that says, ‘Come on in; we’re here to stay.’
Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal