For over 20 years Paddlefest has been an annual event in the seaside community of St. Andrews. Starting as a group of friends organizing paddling excursions, BBQs and kitchen parties the event has evolved into a multi-faceted festival that combines music, art and paddling/outdoor events over a 4 day span. Guided paddling and other activities happen throughout the daytime at various locations across town. In the evenings and into the night the town comes alive with music, with multiple venues (cafes, restaurants, gallerys, etc.) hosting music as well as the Main Stage which is centrally located in the town’s square. It’s truly a festival with something for everyone!
The Picaroons Main Stage is located in town square on Water Street (right next to the St. Andrews wharf). Many of the other venues (restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries) are located within a 5 minute walk from the town square, and most are found directly on Water Street. The main entrance to Kingsbrae Garden is located at the very end of King Street. The Algonquin Resort is also located at the top of the town and is easily locatable from any vantage point in town (look for the red roof!).
Minister’s Island is located just outside of town at the end of the Bar Road, and is only accessible during low-tide (don’t worry, the shows on Minister’s Island are programmed to coincide with optimal crossing hours, so you won’t get stuck on the island!).
The Weekend Pass gives you general admission access to shows at the Picaroons Main Stage, The Red Herring Pub and The Kennedy Inn* plus a discount to other select venues throughout the weekend. The Ultimate RAPIDS Pass grants entry into all official venues* and is the best choice if you want to see everything! (* some venues are subject to capacity)
There is no camping on the actual festival site, but the Kiwansis Campground is a 5-minute drive/10-15-minute walk from the Main Stage/town square. And there are a number of local hotels/inns that offer special rates for the weekend:
The Algonquin Resort (ask about the special group rate) – 5 minute drive/10 minute walk to Main Stage
The Kennedy Inn – 1 minute walk to the Main Stage
Picket Fence Motel – 5 minute drive/15 minute walk to Main Stage
Tara Manor Inn – 7 minute drive/30 minute walk to Main Stage
Seaside Beach Resort – 2 minute drive/5 minute walk to Main Stage
Huntsman Marine Science Centre – 5 minute drive/15 minute walk to Main Stage
For a fill list of accomodations in the area visit the St. Andrews website.
St. Andrews offers a variety of unique locally owned shops, restaurants, attractions and accommodations, most of which are situated on the main drag of Water Street. Hiking on Minister’s Island is highly recommended! Or check out Kingsbrae Garden, the aquarium at the Huntsman Science Centre, the Charlotte County Archives (Courthouse & Jail), or just take walk around town and grab a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants that provide great live music during the weekend!
As the Main Stage is a general admission standing venue only, lawn chairs are not allowed during the nightly shows.Picnic tables/seating are located outside and near the tent. If you have questions regarding handicapped accessibility please contact us.
Please do not bring any of the following:
Ministers’ Island show is a great setting for an afternoon concert and we encourage you to bring a lawn chair and/or blanket for seating. You can even bring a picnic to enjoy during the show. Kids 12 and under are free and dogs on leashes are also welcome!
You must be at least 19 (with a valid piece of ID) to get into the Picaroons Main Stage as well as The Red Herring Pub & The Kennedy Inn. Many other shows are open to all ages when accompanied by a parent or guardian. There will also be family friendly and kids events over the weekend – check out the full music schedule & community activities pages for more details!
In the event of rain and/or heavy winds most of the paddling activities will be postponed or cancelled. Some of the music events (i.e. the Minister’s Island) may also be moved to an alternate in door locations. Please check our website and social media pages for up date information!
Pass holders can pick up wristbands starting at 7pm on Thursday, May 18th at Kingsbrae Garden and at the Main Stage Info Booth/Box Office starting at 11am on Friday, May 19th. As pas holders are given wristbands passes are not interchangeable between people. Sorry, we cannot replace lost wristbands.
There is no ATM located at the Main Stage, but there are 2 ATMs located nearby – one at the Scotiabank across the street and one at The Red Herring Pub. Please note the bar and merchandise tables are cash only.
Most paddling events are free, though some special events may charge a group rate. Paddlefest is extremely fortunate to partner with Maritime DayTripping Inc. and Seascape Kayak Tours who plan and lead paddling activities throughout the weekend! For more information or to learn how you can become involved contact Maritime DayTripping at 1 (506) 657-8747 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do! Most events require you bring your own boat, though some rentals will be available. We encourage everyone who can to participate in the official Paddlefest events, but if you can’t we hope you’ll get out to enjoy the water, or the local bike trails, or the great hiking and climbing opportunities in the area.