PORT HOOD: This summer, Port Hood will offer new opportunities to get out and enjoy live music by local artists.

The Port Hood Area Development Society (PHADS) will host the first annual Murphy’s Pond Music Festival on July 14. The event will feature live music from local performers from 1-9 p.m.

Lynn Chisholm, a member of PHADS said the idea for the festival came to her as she watched the construction of the new marina at Murphy’s Pond.

“When it was completed, I just kept thinking this would be an amazing place for a music festival,” Chisholm said.

The community is also the former home of the Port Hood Lobster Picnic, which ran for 10 years before it was cancelled in 2017. Chisholm, who had been in charge of scheduling the musicians for the annual picnic, felt that the community needed a music-focused event to fill its place. In September, she brought the idea to PHADS to host a festival on the marina grounds.

“We’re a musical coast now. We have to have some kind of summer musical event happening here,” she said. “I really felt strongly in undertaking this. It’s a lot, and I’m constantly working on it, but it’s worth it and it’s going to be exciting.”

Admission will be by donation and all proceeds will go back to PHADS. Chisholm has been working with the Port Hood Harbour Authority and Small Craft Harbours, and says the reaction to the idea has been positive. She has also received calls from a number of residents interested in volunteering their time to the festival. The stage for the event was donated by the Port Hood Volunteer Fire Department.

“There’s been so much support,” said Chisholm. “It’s going extremely well. I probably have about 27 volunteers, and that doesn’t include the entertainers who are donating their time. There will be more as I get closer.”

Chisholm said that for the festival’s first year, she wanted to keep the music local. The lineup for the day features range of musicians including Robert Bouchard, Dan Doiron, Bill Spears, Tracey MacNeil, DJ MacGillivray, and The We’koqma’q Drummers. Chisholm, a country singer in her own right, will also perform.

PHADS will host a barbecue during the event and Port Hood-based business Galloping Cows Fine Foods will be onsite selling pizza slices. The Port Hood Co-op will sell ice cream, and a bar tent will be available for those 19 and over.

Former Bayview Education Centre teacher Bonnie Boulton, along with several youth volunteers, will lead supervised activities for children during the afternoon.

“She approached me because she wanted to put in the children’s aspect in it. She wants to have children’s fishing-related activities,” said Chisholm.

Chisholm says that with all support she has received from the community, she feels hopeful about the future of the festival.

“I am hoping it will be an annual thing, but I’m also hoping it’s going to grow, and I can already see it growing,” she said.

In addition to the festival, Chisholm is launching a new weekly outdoor concert series at Central Park on Main Street in Port Hood starting on July 2. “Ceilidh in the Park 2018”will feature music by a different local performer every Monday at 7 p.m. A hot dog barbecue will be available as a fundraiser for the Port Hood Library.

“People will be able to bring a lawn chair and just come and enjoy the sunsets and the music,” Chisholm added.