The Lunenburg Board of Trade is looking to kick-start this year's tourist season with a new event designed to improve the town's visitor-based economy and encourage repeat visits.
Lunenburg Open House is a two-day festival which hopes to "reintroduce" the UNESCO World Heritage Site to people who live within an hour's drive of the town.
The inaugural event is set to take place May 6 and 7, and will feature a variety of local businesses which will open their doors to offer tours and demonstrations to the visiting public.
"This is something brand new that we're starting this year," says board chairman Andrew Corkum. "Early May is not seen as the traditional tourist season, but the fact ... is the town is here year-round and there's lots to do. Even if the weather is a little grey out there, it's still a wonderful area to come and visit."
Tessa Dixon of the event's organizing committee says the idea for the weekend's activities is to show off Lunenburg businesses and to dispel preconceived notions that some people have as to what Lunenburg is all about.
"We thought we needed a showcase to promote the diversity of our businesses and how much this little town has to offer in addition to that iconic waterfront view," she explains. "We're a lot more than that."
Organizers put their heads together to try and devise a theme and a concept that would capitalize on that diversity, and the Lunenburg Open House was born.
"We said, hey, let's open our doors and invite people to come and see what we have to offer and we set as a target or an audience that one-hour radius of our town," she said. "That is sort of our trading market and the people who come here on a regular basis."
So far over 50 businesses have signed on to take part in the weekend's events, and "there's still more to come.
"And it really does go across all sectors. We've had a very strong participation rate," Ms Dixon adds.
Participants not only include the retail sector, but also firms involved in processing, design and manufacturing as well.
While part of the two days of activity is to allow the businesses to open their doors as a kind of educational experience for the public, each will also have a different event going on at their specific location.
"Some activities will go on throughout the day while others will be slated for certain times," Ms Dixon says. "There will be a program list of all activities ... and we will have an 800 number or a local number where people can pre-book events, because a lot of events will probably be limited in numbers just due to capacity. And the majority will be free."
Most of the activities will be family oriented, geared to appeal to adults and children, as well.
Ms Dixon says it is hoped the open house will become an annual event to be held the first weekend of May each year, "and though we'll pray for good weather, all the activities will be catered to indoors, so the weather shouldn't affect us."
|March 29, 2006|
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