Thousands of Hartland residents and visitors spent their New Brunswick Day enjoying summer sunshine in and around the World'sWorld's Longest Covered Bridge.
Hartland N.B. Day celebration proved one of western New Brunswick'sBrunswick's most popular destinations for the Aug. 1 holiday Monday.
More than 100 vendors set up shop on the famous covered bridge and in the Walter Chestnut Public Library and tourist bureau parking lots on either side of the bridge entrance.
Along with the vendors, the seventh annual N.B. Day all-day event included a truck and car show and shine featuring various antique, vintage and unique modern vehicles, including a large contingent of Corvettes.
A tented stage next to the library offered musical entertainment throughout the day, including line dancing, singer Jason Shaw and the band Stinking Rich.
Games, face painting and bouncy castles amused the children as families wandered and socialized among the large crowds taking in the sites.
Several food trucks, along with the C.K.'s Canteen, a summer fixture on the Hartland waterfront, offered a wide selection of food options.
Most vendors reported heavy traffic and strong sales throughout the day. Always a popular event, they said business was even better this year, with residents and tourists once again on the go in a post-pandemic upswing.
"This is great to see," said Hartland Deputy Mayor Stewart Fairgrieve as he arrived on the bustling downtown waterfront.
He said staff counted 1,000 people per hour entering the bridge during the morning.
Looking after the J & S King Family Farm booth in the middle of the bridge, Shannon King said most vendors reported excellent sales.
The St. André-based farm regularly sells vegetables, cut flowers, jam, pickles and pastured eggs at the Grand Falls Farmers Market and other farmers' markets throughout the Upper St. John River Valley.
King said the annual Hartland Covered Bridge Market is an essential stop for most vendors, noting it always attracts large crowds.
"This is the show that takes us from red to black," she said.
The Carleton Victoria Arts Council (CVArts) operated one of the booths on the bridge, promoting the Larlee Creek Hullabaloo Music Festival, Aug. 11 to 14, in Perth-Andover, and offering a glimpse of some of the acclaimed performers CVArts will present in the upcoming season.
CVArts director of programming Pearl Black said full details of the council's new season would be out shortly.
She added tickets are selling fast for the Hullabaloo, noting Saturday night's performance is nearly sold out.
Black said they hope to have tickets available at the gate, but that may not be possible.
Despite temperatures hitting more than 30 degrees Celsius by mid-afternoon, the covered bridge, pitched canopies and shade from trees along the Hartland waterfront offered comfort and shade from the sun's bright rays.
Making an already exciting 2022 Hartland N.B. Day celebration extra special, the town used the event to honour Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. Organizers set aside a decorated tent and cake to mark the 70th anniversary of the monarch's coronation.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun