Band Day

21 June 2019

47th Annual Band Day, Sunday, July 28, 2019

The 47th Annual Band will be held on Sunday, July 28, 2019  at the bandstand in Parrsboro. Rain or shine this event will be held. In the event of rain, the fundraiser will be held at The Hall on King Street. The day will feature the Parrsboro Citizens' Choir, a Dixieland Band, the Paul Jensen Duo, the Sackville Citizens' Band  and Elastic Big Band.

There will be a bar-b-que featuring sausage and hot dogs and the best strawberry shortcake in Nova Scotia. There will be tickets sold on 25lbs of Bay of Fundy Lobster. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Drawing will be that afternoon at 4:45 pm.

If you have not renewed you membership or would like to become a member you can do it that day. There are benefits in becoming a member so join, we would love to have you.

The band hat will be passed around that afternoon. Donations greatly appreciated and the proceeds from the day will go to the music programs continue in the hall.

Atlantic Lottery has come in as a sponsor for that day. The MC for the day will be Dilly MacFarlane. We thank them sincerely for their support.

This event is brought to you by The Parrsboro Band Association.

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23 July 2018

With the threat of 'weather' putting a possible damper on the celebration, this year's annual Band Day was moved up to The Hall and indoors where it proceeded without a hitch and with tremendous attendance by the public.
Our volunteers started early and had the Bernie Burke auditorium set up, the practice room organized as 'food central' and the bbq up and running well in advance 12:00 when the music started.

And once it started what music there was.   Beginning with the Parrsboro Citizens' Choir the music continued almost continuously until just after 5:00 pm when the final notes from the Elastic Big Band faded away in the rafters.   Every group that performed delighted the audience with the quality, variety and strength of their performances.

However the true stars of the day, once again, were the wonderful volunteers who made the event run seamlessly.   By the end of the day the 'kitchen crew' were taking turns in front of the fan just to cool off, while those manning the bbq kept the sausages and hot dogs coming right until closing, without having a large amount of cooked food left over.   One of the highlights of the afternoon was when the William B Perry 'Volunteer of the Year' award was presented to Norma Collinson, who was obviously delighted to have been recognized for her hours, and years of dedication 'behind the scenes'.

Special thanks goes to Dilly MacFarlane who once again guided proceedings along with skill and humour.

(Most photos - the good ones - courtesy of Tommy Strutz)
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25 July 2016

What a day!   Band Day dawned sunny and clear with the threat of 'weather' still hanging over it.    And what happened?   One the best and most successful Band Day celebrations of music in many years.   The new band stand was 'broken in' in style with almost 6 full hours of great music all afternoon.    The crowds came out, and stayed, and stayed and stayed.  

The afternoon's music started with the George Street Brass Band who came all the way from Charlottetown PEI and performed a widely varied repertoire including many traditional marches which took many of the crowd back to earlier times.     The remainder of the afternoon provided a wonderful variety of music, from the Sackville Citizens Band which has been a great supporter and participant in Band Day for many years now, and the Elastic Big Band who ended the day with some wonderful sounds from the big band era and featured Janet Crawford performing some incredible vocals.   Interspersed the Band Association kept the concept of citizens' music alive with the participation of the Citizens' Choir and the Monday Night Jazz Combo.

The highlight of the afternoon was the official opening of the new band stand.   Completed on Friday last this iconic structure has risen like phoenix and when mayor Lois Smith cut the ribbon with the assistance of Lori Lynch and Rob Bentley, the applause was fervent and prolonged.

None of this however would be possible without the incredible efforts of a a team of volunteers who put it all together.   And they are not the musicians who performed.   Our volunteers were on site as early at 7:30 in the morning, moving equipment into place, and trucks and people kept it up all morning bringing in and assembling tables, chairs, music stands, shelters from the sun, coolers, ice, bbqs, food, extra trash disposal, all the little things that make the occasion the success it was.     So many, many thanks go out to all those who made this happen, musicians and volunteers alike.   And of course a very special mention must be made of our wonderful MC for the afternoon, Dilly MacFarlane, who shepherded this herd of cats all with a wonderful sense of humour and personal commentary that made the afternoon feel like a visit with old friends.

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26 July 2015


Band Day 2015 got off to a bit of a rush start this morning when once again the weather threatened rain.   The Band Committee made an early call and transferred the days festivities to The Hall  and with a huge effort by a remarkable and dedicated group of volunteers, Band Day started at noon as advertised.   The smell of cooking sausage advertised the beginning of what turned into a great day celebrating music.

The Parrsboro Citizens' Choir got the musical celebration underway, providing 45 minutes of vocal entertainment.   Reduced in numbers by summer, vacations, illness, accident and just 'life' happening, the choir still performed to an amazingly high level.   The crowd sang along with some, were moved by others and entertained throughout.   And there was more than one tear in the eyes of choir members as they performed the "Irish Blessing" in honour of one absent member who had just lost her father.

Next up as the only 'traditional' band to perform today.   The Sackville Citizens band has been an integral part of Band Day in Parrsboro for many years now and once again brought an incredibly high level of performance with a repertoire that was as entertaining as it was challenging.   We would like to thank the SCB once again for their incredible contribution to the success of this event.

In keeping with the concept of making music a fun learning experience for any person who wishes to participate, the next group to take center stage was the Parrsboro Jazz Combo.   Composed of musicians at all levels of experience, the group plays a style of music completely different from any they have played before, iintroducing improv solo work for all from music sheets that are, to put it mildly, sparse.  The music is a challenge, and the experience enjoyable and is open to any and all who wish to join in.
From some traditional jazz to blues and R&B, the group has great fun playing and their performance was positively received by an appreciative audience.

Closing the day out was Parrsboro's own Elastic Big Band.   Augmented for the occasion by several out of town visitors the band once again performed to its expected high level of energy, to the point that some audience members were up dancing to the great music, and even a mini conga line made its way around the auditorium.

The day would not have gone nearly as well without our remarkable volunteers who make this all happen.   From setting up tables, preparing the food, cooking, taking care of the food, tickets sales, picking up, and generally being everywhere making sure that the audience had a great time, these amazing people make the day happen and do not ever get nearly enough credit.   So thank you all, so very much.

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July 27, 2014

Fabulous weather greeted good crowds who turned up at the band stand for yet another great day of music, food, and art.   The Association's annual Band Day was held under sunny skies, a cooling breeze and featured some great entertainment by the Citizens' Choir, Sackville Citizens Band, Pictou Brass and Reed and the Elastic Big Band.

With grilled sausage and hot dogs available from noon on, the crowds started to gather and swelled as the afternoon progressed.   The park and surrounding area was treated to some fabulous music by all performers and an appreciative audience showed their feelings with enthusiastic and warm applause after every number performed.

Further details and photographs will be available shortly on the Band Day page. 


Welcome to our page dedicated to our annual musical event for the residents of and visitors to our community.     Band Day is a celebration of community band music, reminiscent of lazy Sunday evening concerts in the park, parasols and wicker baby carriages.

Band Day has been celebrated by the Band Association for many years now and this page, and its attached pages of photographic memories will help visitors to our site and our one day festival of music recall days gone by and enjoy the entertainment of today.   Band Day apparently began in 1972 as a means of raising funds for the band.   The initial Band Day was held in Glooscap Park and featured a huge bbq meal of pork chops and home made salads.  Bernie Burke and Bernie Perry had to travel to Truro to the Agricultural College to learn the techniques of cooking that many pork chops at once. 

The following year it moved to its current location at the band stand in front of Town Hall and the menu was changed to bbq chicken.   Again off the two Bernies went...this time to the Experimental Farm to learn the techniques for bbq'ing chickens en masse as Band Day turned into a town party with huge barbeques set up and literally hundreds of chickens roasted as dinner was served. 
1985 Bernie Perry passed away and at that time we were able to secure the services of a retired chef from the army named Henri Wiita. At that time Cecil Pettigrew and the son in law of Bernie Perry, Eddy  McCully took over the operation of the bar-b-que.   It would be appreciated if there are any photographs of the early days of Band Day around that could be shared as we attempt to reconstruct the history of this iconic event.  One long term resident recalls Band Day as follows:

The day started at 5:30 am when the barbeque was lit to warm up the cement blocks.   From then until approximately 10:00 am, at least a half a cord of hardwood would be used.  The only charcoal ever used was Kingsford and about 40 large bags would be consumed by the end of day having served over 1000 dinners.

At 12:45 pm Parrsboro Citizens' Band would march to the bandstand.   When it stopped playing, if there was a pipe band, it would then march to the bandstand and perform a concert for about an hour.

After that all the other groups would perform till 5:00 pm.  At that time all the bands in attendance would move up to the high school yard to have a run through the 3 marches Parrsboro Bandmaster Bernie Burke had previously sent to all the bands who were going to be in attendance.  One year the military band from Aldershot came. One can only just imagine the massive sound:  full instrumentation, with the military band, Parrsboro, Sackville and Fairview Citadel Salvation Army Bands all playing together.

The mass band would then assemble and march out of the high school with 120 musicians playing Colonel Bogey, The Thin Red Line and a Souza Medley.   Some felt the single combined band could be heard in Southampton, Advocate and Five Islands.

 The band was a bit cramped marching down Dominion Street, then turned on to Main Street.   Once there however the band spread out and used the width of Main Street with all 4 band directors marching in front of the band.   The band marched and stopped in front of what is now the municipal park at town hall.    A podium would be brought out for Bernie Burke to stand on and he directed the band for the 3 marches. That ended band day about 6:30 pm .

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Currently Band Day is still a fundraiser for the Band Association but has scaled back the cooking somewhat.   You can still get something to eat of course, with smoked bbq'd sausage, with or without sauerkraut, cold drinks, and the very best strawberry shortcake in the area.   And with it all comes music, music and more music. 

As has been the case in years past this year we expect there to be at least four musical groups in attendance and performing.   Additionally one or two of the local businesses have set up displays in the past and it is hoped that participation will increase this year.   The ‘art in the park’ outdoor exhibit will continue this year, depending on the willingness of local artisans to participate, and of course the weather. 

With grateful thanks to Michael Fuller for the new and enchanting Band Day logo
Subpages (1): Photo Album