TRURO - Good friends, good food, and maybe even a nip of rum-spiced eggnog, if you so desire.
Such are the reasons for attending New Year's Day levees, according to a number of area residents who were enjoying themselves on Tuesday.
"I like the food (and), the company," said Mike Crowe of Bible Hill as he stopped by the steward's table at the Salmon River Fire Hall to refresh his cup of eggnog.
"You meet a lot of people you haven't seen for awhile," Crowe said, of the reason why he has been attending levees for "years and years."
Eddie Murphy of Debert was also enjoying the food and camaraderie of the day. But with the strains of fiddle and guitar music streaming in from across the room, he was also anxious to hit the dance floor with his friend Catherine Joudrie from Tatamagouche.
"I've been coming here for years and I love their music," he said, of the local band Countryfied. "We like the levee, we have a good time here, the music is fantasic."
Hall steward Andrew Peterson, who was standing at the ready to refill more eggnog cups as required, said the Salmon River levee has included a live band for the last number of years, a factor that seems to be a hit with a growing number of visitors.
Last year was the hall's 50th annual levee, Peterson said, which led members to spice things up a little with some cold cut meats, cheese and crackers and other snacks.
Given the popularity of those extra snacks, they decided it was a tradition worth keeping, he said.
"So this year we decided we'd go all out again and we'd have the meats and the crackers and cheese and what not, along with our clam chowder and eggnog," he said. "People come in to eat and socialize and they seem to stick around. Last year we were full right to the end and a lot of people never left."
Across the way at the Bible Hill Fire Hall, there may not have been live music, but there was certainly lots of chatter as old friends caught up on missed news from the past year.
- A large crowd of between 200 and 300 people turned out for the annual New Year's levee at the Royal Canadian Legion in Truro. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS" />
"Oh, just to meet some old friends, have some chat and enjoy the New Year," Glenyis Anderson of Little Dyke said, of the reason why she and husband Parker Morris make their levee rounds each year.
"My husband is a Mason so we always go to the Masonic lodge first. And then we just travel around and meet up with friends and just enjoy the day," she said.
Likewise for Barry Mellish of Truro, who said he tries to get around to several levees each year to catch up with old friends.
Frank Martell of Truro said he visits two or three levees each year to also catch up with old and new friends alike.
"I come here for meeting people. I enjoy the sociability and I enjoy the food that's being prepared and I just enjoy being out," he said. "And you meet some people that you haven't seen in quite some time and I enjoy that very much."
A number of levees were held all throughout the Colchester area on Tuesday including in the Town of Truro council chambers. At each one, chowder and eggnog were staples, along with other tasty-looking tidbits. And whether there was live music or just the steady, busy sound of chitchat, crowds and smiles were the big flavours of the day.
One of the largest crowds within the Truro area was at the Royal Canadian Legion on Brunswick Street, which past president Ron Trowsdale said was in the hundreds. And pretty much all were sampling one or both of the two varieties of chowder (seafood and corn).
"Excellent crowd," he said, of the day's attendance, which he predicted would be steady right from start to finish.
"We've had two to three hundred people anyway," he said. "And we generally go through about a half a dozen pots of chowder."