George Street Festival, For the Serious Boozebags Only

Somewhere between the last few days of celebrating the miracle of George Street, a lightbulb went off in my head. I hadn’t blogged about George Street Festival yet.

How dare I? One of St. John’s biggest events, the legendary festival that invites people from all over to come and partake in the sacred tradition of Newfoundland boozin’.

If you haven’t heard me mention the street before, it’s known for having the most clubs and pubs per square foot than any other street in North America, which we’re proud about because this city has just 150,000 people. Traffic isn’t allowed on the road past 6 a.m., so people wander about freely all day. Plus it’s just a five minute walk from my house. Strategy.

Anyway, the festivals occurs each year at the end of July. The entire street shuts down so that drinkers pay $20-$30 (pricey, I know) to get in, pour their beer into plastic cups, and wander at will. You can drink in the street and enjoy some live music, or mosey between bars without having to pay any cover fees.

The whole thing is ridiculous. Saturday night I stood on the deck of Greensleeves with a beer in hand watching the crowd milling about the street, and I had never seen such chaos and clamour. I loved it.

My only issue is that I missed all the live entertainment because the street filled too quickly and tickets stopped selling. I decided to skip the $30 event of Our Lady Peace’s opening concert, and immediately regretted it. The show was apparently fantastic. Instead, I watched from The Republic just above the street with cold beer in hand. People watching is fun when you have your eye on the military dudes dressed in their camouflage being violated by drunken women. Flawless plan.

The festival has been around for 26 years, and I’ve been attending for four. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the street so congested. The festival ends off tomorrow night with an old-fashioned kitchen party on stage. Fiddle music and jig-dancing awaits.

Our Lady Peace kicks off the festival.

Festival kick-off.

Raine Maida gets all the support.

Raine gets all the support.

Ah, St. John’s. So many reasons to love you.

(All these photos were taken by the lovely Maggie, as I was incapable of operating any electronics for most of the weekend.)

  • August 02 2010

    I heart George St Fest :) I took a lot more pictures this year compared to last… which is good, because I have stubs from 4 nights last year, but I only remember 2.. ;D
    I think I’m going to miss most of the kitchen party, because I’m working out in CBS tomorrow :/ But I’ll be on the street eventually for regatta roullette! ;D it wrong that i’m already looking forward to next july?? :o

    • August 05 2010

      Your pics were EPIC, I loved them. I can never get good street shots. Made me realize how insane the whole thing is.

  • August 02 2010

    This sounds like an amazing time!

  • August 03 2010

    “If you haven’t heard me mention the street before” – I believe the only people who have not heard about George Street from you are the dead. The other day I walked past a “George Street” – a very common name for a street, all in all – and I immediately thought of you. Apparently, in my mind, Candice Walsh is George Street. (that’s a compliment!)

    • August 05 2010

      LOL, Sabina, the fact that “George Street” made you think of me totally makes me happy. Awesome!

  • August 04 2010

    sounds chaotic but fun!

  • August 06 2010

    Do you get free beer once your in?
    Sounds like a fun party… are there beads? Or is it too cold for bare breasts? :-)

    • August 17 2010

      No free beer! Unless, of course, you use your divine powers of flirtation. Beads come out for the big Mardi Gras Halloween celebration at the end of October. ;)

  • August 07 2010

    hahahah we had an AGM in St. Johns day after a night out… Half the dudes didnt show. It was a political vote but that wasnt why. Ended up at that strip club on the corner, ok times!

    Great blogging, as per usual, Madame C.

    • August 17 2010

      Cotton Club? Man, one of my favourite nights out last summer took place there. My soul has never been redeemed.

  • August 12 2010

    Candice, those pictures were pretty cool. It reminded me of Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras.

    P.S. I am digging my new favorite word – Boozebags.

  • September 28 2010

    Hi guys loving the pics.
    Every year for the last 4 yrs me and my mates go to the Halloween mardi gras. We cum from London UK and looking forward to this one in October.
    Is there any other websites tht I can go on which have forums etc wanna no the bands and acts and the best places for this year

  • February 26 2011

    I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet. We were there a couple of years ago just before the epic event.

    If I had a bucket list, this would be on it. Wait, maybe I should get around to writing one of those…

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