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Shelburne’s Whirligig Festival celebrating 20 years

Whirligigs provide a maze of colour, shapes at last year’s Shelburne Whirligig and Weathervane Festival. The year’s festival is set to go for Sept. 21 and 22 Shelburne’s historic waterfront.
Whirligigs provide a maze of colour, shapes at last year’s Shelburne Whirligig and Weathervane Festival. The year’s festival is set to go for Sept. 21 and 22 Shelburne’s historic waterfront. - Kathy Johnson
SHELBURNE, N.S. —

By KATHY JOHNSON
TRI-COUNTY VANGUARD

Whirling, twirling works of art and mechanics will be back on Shelburne’s historic Dock Street on Sept. 21 and 22 for the 20th annual Shelburne Whirligig and Weathervane Festival.
The festival has become a very popular event in the province and regionally, says Timothy Gillespie, spokesperson for the Festival Committee. “We get a lot of people that plan vacation time to make sure they are in Shelburne at the time of festival. We have people who travel across the country to bring whirligigs to the festival. We had a couple who were here last year that make whirligigs out of out copper. They are coming back with some new entries. We have some folks coming from the prairies. We get folks coming from the U.S… it’s a very popular event.”
Because exhibitors don’t have to pre-register, “We never know how many whirligigs we are going to have,” said Gillespie. “I think this year we’ll have a decent amount.”
More than $1,000 in prizes will be awarded in eleven categories for whirligigs, including People's Choice, Best of Show, Most Whimsical and First Time Entrant, plus an award for Best Weathervane. This year, a special prize will be awarded for best depiction of the theme, Sea Sirens.
Past builders have come from Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg, Yarmouth and Halifax counties and a far as Ohio, Philadelphia, British Columbia and Ontario. “With more than a dozen prizes in many categories and prizes surpassing $1,000 we expect a lot of great entries,” said committee member Willa Magee.
A special feature of the Festival is the ArtGigs Show and Sale, which features themed whirligigs painted by professional and amateur artists. “This is the third year for ArtGigs,” said Gillespie, which has grown from 12 entries the first year to an anticipated 40 this year. The ArtGigs will be sold via a silent auction on site and all proceeds from the sale are returned to the individual artists.
For many years the Shelburne Whirligig and Weathervane Festival was the only one of its kind in the world and continues to be the largest featuring hand crafted wind machines. It is the one of its kind in Canada.  The Festival also includes a series of whirligig workshops for kids and adults, which have become a staple of the Festival. This year's Festival also features local food and craft vendors, and a free kite making and a kite-flying demonstration.
The festival has been growing in popularity over the years, attracting more than 1,000 festival goers throughout the weekend.
Whirligig makers can register in advance or at the Festival. There is no registration fee. 

WHIRLIGIG FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019
• 8 to 11 a.m.:  Community Breakfast, Sandy Point Lighthouse (1586 Sandy Point Rd) Adults: $8 / Children: $4  
• 9 a.m. to 12 noon:  Whirligig building workshop. Whirligig building workshop at the dory Shop Museum with expert Dory builder and wood crafter, Milford Buchanan. This workshop features a unique whirligig design created especially for the 20th Anniversary Festival. Workshop fees include all building materials and instruction. $25 per person. Pre-register in person at the Dory Shop, by emailing dorshopmuseum@gmail.com or by calling 902-875-4003. Drop in participation based on availability. Maximum 12 participants per session. 
• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Farmers Market, Guild Hall 
• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: ArtGigs Show and Sale, Dock Street
• 9 a.m. to 12 noon: Registration of entries, Dock Street
• 12 to 5 p.m.:  Viewing entries on the Dock Street
• 1 to 4 p.m.: Whirligig building workshop. Whirligig building workshop at the dory Shop Museum with expert Dory builder and wood crafter, Milford Buchanan. This workshop features a unique whirligig design created especially for the 20th Anniversary Festival. Workshop fees include all building materials and instruction. $25 per person. Pre-register in person at the Dory Shop, by emailing dorshopmuseum@gmail.com or by calling 902-875-4003. Drop in participation based on availability. Maximum 12 participants per session. 
• 2 to 4 p.m.: Kite Building Workshop. Ages 4-11, Shelburne Waterfront. Limited to 20 participants. 

Sunday September 22, 2019
• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: ArtGigs Show and Sale Dock Street
• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: View of entries on the Dock Street 
• 12 to 1 p.m.: Kite flying demonstration. 
• 2 to 4 p.m.: Children’s Whirligig building workshop. Ages 4-11 Dock Street. FREE Limited to 20 participants. 
• 4 pm: Awards presentations under the Dock Street Tents 

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