MAITLAND - The Town of Maitland is ready to launch into an annual festival that celebrates its unique history.
The Maitland Launch Festival begins today and continues until Sunday. There are a number of events scheduled throughout the weekend, including the launching of a 17-foot model ship on Sunday afternoon in the bay opposite the Lawrence house Museum grounds at about 3 p.m.
"There are generally a few hundred people who go to it," said John Hicks, an event organizer. "The biggest ship in Canadian history was built here and we like to celebrate that."
Setting the model ship to sail commemorates the launching of the W.D. Lawrence, which was the largest wooden-hulled, full-rigged vessel ever build in Canada. It was built in 1874 and was named after its builder and owner, William D. Lawrence. The ship was 2,459 tons with a keel length of 244 feet and nine inches.
Some of the launch festival's other highlights include a play called Botheration Schemes at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Friday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
On Saturday, day-long festivities include a quilt a rug sale, vintage car show, music featuring Garrett Mason and Keith Hallett and a beer garden.
Sunday's events include launch day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lawrence House Museum, heritage displays, petting zoo, whiskey barrel races, dog agility show, children's activities, a parade through the town at 1:15 p.m., the launching of the William D Lawrence model ship and another performance by Botheration Schemes.
For specific times, locations, cost of events and day passes, log onto www.ticketpro.ca or stop into MacQuarries Pharmasave in Truro or Brookfield. Festival-goers can also call 1-888-311-9090 or the Lawrence House Museum at 261-2658 for more details.