The sounds of crowds singing Ave Maris Stella could be heard in Bouctouche on Sunday afternoon as N.B residents gathered to raise their flags for National Acadian Day.
Beauséjour MP Dominic LeBlanc and Premier Blaine Higgs made an appearance during the raising of the flag in the area.
“It’s always exciting to celebrate Acadian Day on August 15, to celebrate the Acadian culture, the French language, the survival of the Acadian people…” LeBlanc said.
“People had such a difficult time this year all over the world. People haven’t been able to see each other like they could the year prior. People are excited to see each other again and celebrate.”
Acadians have been joining together all around the region to mark the holiday, with a massive parade planned for 6 p.m in Caraquet.
The annual Tintamarre parade in the Acadian Peninsula was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19, however, it is planned to proceed despite the one in Moncton being cancelled.
“We’re really excited about this, especially considering last year we weren’t able to participate,” Susan Kenny said in an interview with Radio-Canada.
“We can still respect social distancing as long as we stay close to our own bubble.”
Organizers of the events in Caraquet are encouraging attendees to take whatever measures they need to feel safe.
“We’re following all the directives that are coming our way from the premier and the province now that we’re in the green phase,” said Paul Marcel Albert, one of the organizers with the event.
But there are some who feel uncomfortable to join the festivities given the new cases of COVID-19 still being confirmed.
Anne Robichaud, a retired nurse from Caraquet, made the decision to hold out.
“This year I think I’d prefer to remain cautious,” she said. “The pandemic still isn’t over and there’s a fourth wave that’s coming. I still want to take whatever measures I can to not expose [the virus] to those around me,” she said.
Parade in Moncton cancelled
The city of Moncton was additionally expecting to have a parade this Sunday, though this was cancelled after a rise in infections.
There are now 62 active cases in the Moncton region, as per the most recent update shared on Friday. Public Health listed seven alerts for COVID-19 exposures in the area the following day, adding to an increasing list of exposure sites that were shared earlier this week.