Take in the Highland Games, Changing of the Guard and Walking Tours
Fredericton, NB is a cultural Maritime city complete with a farmer’s market, sports hall of fame, outdoor movies and family friendly annual festivals.
The lively Maritime city of Fredericton, New Brunswick has great downtown restaurants, many free events and is an especially enjoyable destination to spend some vacation time in. Fredericton travel is easy, as the international airport is close to the city centre and once travellers arrive downtown, it’s all about exploring the city on foot.
First up is the decision about where to stay. The Delta Fredericton Hotel is a good choice for those who like to be downtown, but also like to have some peace and quiet. The Delta is located right on the St. John River and the views from the rooms that overlook the waterfront are marvellous (see the sunset photo below).
This Fredericton hotel also has two restaurants, both facing the St. John River, but the outdoor one is right on the bank. The five to ten minute walk to the centre of downtown can be taken along the waterfront path.
Free Walking Tours
The best way to learn the history of a city and get your bearings is to take a walking tour. Luckily, the city offers free walking tours of downtown given by guides in period costume (who do a wonderful job). There is so much history in the Maritimes and they take travellers through the city’s past with humour and simplicity.
Funny stories like how the firemen were paid on commission and two fire stations competed for “business”, which of course led to many fires in Fredericton’s history, are almost mind boggling… Meet at city hall at 10 am, 2:30 pm or 5 pm during the summer.
Changing of the Guard Ceremony
Probably the most characteristic thing to do is watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. The bagpipes begin playing and the guards stand at attention in their full uniforms.
Joe, retired after spending 35 years in the military, chooses someone from the crowd and they must inspect the guards. This consists of standing on the dais in front of the guards as the piper plays. Then, follow Joe through the line up as you inspect their uniforms. He’ll ask you to stop at one of them and ask him or her a few questions. After the “inspection,” you receive a framed photo of yourself and a letter in the mail once you return home thanking you for participating.
New Brunswick Highland Games
Every summer in July, the New Brunswick Highland Games take over the Government House grounds for three days. Clans from all over Atlantic Canada gather to celebrate their Scottish heritage with heavy events, highland dance competitions, ceilidhs, massed bands and much eating and drinking.
Fredericton is one of the most delightful cities in Canada to visit. Downtown restaurants like The Blue Door, Brewbakers, Bruno’s and the W.W. Boyce Farmers’ Market restaurant and stalls are all good options. Make sure to also check out the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
The free offerings include visitor parking passes; a visitor certificate of your trip; summer outdoor concerts; theatre; storytelling; classic movies; the City Hall Tapestry Tour (scheduled in both English and French; and 85 kms of riverside trails. Contact Tourism Fredericton (1-888-888-4768) for more information about everything Fredericton travel.