Lincoln park becomes Newfoundland and Labrador for 13 for 13 Festival kickoff

People gathering on the grass of the Charles Daley Park in Jordan Station for the kickoff 13 for 13 Festival event, happening alongside the 2022 Canada Summer Games across Niagara.

Lincoln residents were able to experience the best the east coast has to offer this weekend and see the world of Newfoundland and Labrador — without having to leave Niagara.

The town hosted the kickoff for the 13 for 13 Festival being held this August, as part of the 2022 Canada Summer Games being hosted in the region. For one day, Charles Daley Park was transformed into the Atlantic province, with booths and activities showcasing its culture, traditions, and food.

Paula Racher is one of the people in charge of the 13 for 13 Festival, which will see every city and town in the region host a one-day festival spotlighting the life and culture of one of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories — all of which are competing in the Summer Games.

“It’s pretty spectacular,” said Rachel, who’s the manager of events and community relations with the Niagara 2022 Host Society. “There are some folks who haven’t been across Niagara and can explore all the wonderful things we have here… they’ll explore Niagara and also learn a little bit more about the rest of our country.”

One activity was a photo booth that also introduced people to an honored tradition among Newfoundlanders: “the screech” is an initiation ritual locals ask “come-from-aways” to engage in to become an honorary Newfoundlander. It involves, among other things, kissing a cod on the lips — the theme of the booth (but not a real cod).

Jacqueline Buchanan, who was helping to run the photo booth, said she thinks the festival helps to make the Summer Games “a more immersive experience.”

Also helping out at the festival was someone who knows all about the excitement of traveling provinces — and countries — to go for the gold: Ali ten Hove, a competitive sailor who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. She was at the festival with the Royal Bank of Canada, meeting with residents and showing them her recently-won gold medal.

Ten Hove hopes to check out a few of the Summer Games while she’s in town for the festival. Having walked in the shoes of the athletes competing this August, she relates to the excitement many of them have.

“There’s no feeling like that sense of unity being a part of a larger team,” she said. “That feeling of unity and pride you carry, being in a group like that, is incredible.”

Alongside a series of live concerts, a Newfoundland-style “kitchen party,” drinking booths, and activities for kids, Ange Dumaresque came in from the province to serve festival-goers a plate of her home’s cuisine: people were able to try either east coast cod croquettes with piperade sauce, or slow-roasted brisket with partridgeberry jus.

“It’s taking everyday ingredients and making them extraordinary,” she said, describing their cuisine.

The festival will continue every day in every municipality until Saturday, Aug. 20. For more information, visit niagara2022games.ca/13for13.

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