Reviving an old tradition

Cory Hurley
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Lovely mummers didn’t bother the snow in Summerside

Hark, what’s the noise?

There were mummers walking the main street of Summerside Sunday, there was 50 or more, as the Mummers Festival took place in the north shore of the Bay of Islands community.

The old weathered faces of many throughout the community lit up with grins as some lined the street to watch and others took in the spectacle from their windows or bridges. A granny or two surely found out what the noise was outside their porch doors.

The mummers, nice mummers were also allowed in, as they gathered at the community centre afterwards to share a few more laughs, snacks, and music. They didn’t turn down a drop either — of hot chocolate that is.

The mummers song came on shortly after they all unstrapped their mother’s big forty-two bra and unstuffed their underwear. Everybody was careful not to swing granny hard because they knew she was old.

There were big ones and small ones, tall ones and thin.

Meghan Gillette, 10, finished the parade and joined her elders in the centre for a few treats. She realized her community is full of spirit, perhaps even a little silly, and she enjoyed herself to the fullest.

“I just wanted to have some fun,” she said. “And, I did. I had a lot of fun.”

Gillette’s message was short and sweet, but it was very similar to that of Daphne Wheeler-Park — a senior in the community.

“I think it is time to bring back some old traditions, get the community out and being a part of things, and to have some fun in general,” she said.

Wheeler-Park was one of the more boisterous mummers — dancing along the parade route, handing out small chocolate bars, and sharing hugs and laughs with spectators along the road.

“It was a blast,” she said. “I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

“Oh my gosh, it just warmed the heart to see so many people taking part. To know that they all want to see these things brought back, and we are helping do that, is a wonderful feeling.”

Barry Wheeler, chair of the Summerside Recreation Committee, was amazed at the response and amount of participation.

“It was absolutely awesome,” he said. “We were really excited to try to get back to something that is more traditional in a Christmas environment.”

Wheeler’s parting words could have very well been, Please God, we will see you next year.

“We will be bigger and better next year,” he said.

The mummers all nodded their heads.


Organizations: Summerside Community Centre

Geographic location: Bay of Islands

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