Another successful Port Hawkesbury Ceilidh season has struck its final note.
Tuesday nights, from July to October at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, has plenty of toes tapping and hands clapping – from near and far.
“It was a very good season,” Bob MacEachern, one of the ceilidh organizers, said, noting the “great talent” that performed each week.
He added there was a great turnout each week.
“It started in response to the thought there was nothing in the Port Hawkesbury area that reflected the traditional cultural part of the community,” MacEachern said, in outlining the beginnings of the musical celebrations 23 years ago.
He added the event, which was started by the now-defunct Port Hawkesbury Waterfront Association, “really caught on.”
“It was a unique idea at that time,” MacEachern noted.
He added volunteers – some of whom continue to pitch in – provided great support, from the beginning, to the ceilidhs.
Not to mention the talent.
“We have a core group of musicians,” MacEachern said, adding new performers are added each year.
“We want to provide a different flavour.”
And, of course, the volunteers are a key to its success.
“It wouldn’t happen without them,” MacEachern said, reiterating some have been on board “since day one.”
They do everything from greeting visitors to baking oat cakes.
“Volunteers are sprinkled throughout the night,” MacEachern said.
He noted a dozen new ones joined the group – now the Port Hawkesbury Ceilidh Volunteers – this year.
“There remains plenty of interest,” MacEachern said.
That group took over from the Port Hastings Historical Society, which received proceeds from the ceilidhs.
“They decided they wanted to take a new approach,” MacEachern said of the focus on supporting various community groups.
Last month, as part of that focus, the volunteer group made a $3,000 donation to the Strait Richmond Healthcare Foundation.
MacEachern noted the plan is to make a contribution to a different community group each year.