TYNE VALLEY -- The much anticipated Leslie Hardy and Sons’ entry in the 50th anniversary Tyne Valley Oyster Festival’s parade Saturday lived up to its billing.
Parade-goers, however, had to wait until the final two minutes of the 46-minute parade this year to find up what the Hardy family had on display, mermaid, dancing fish and jellyfish, oyster pearls, a sea monster and one giant of a fisherman.
The family business, which won first prize for best entry in the oyster category, featured 32 children and grandchildren of Leslie and Shirley Hardy, the owners of the East Bideford business.
Janet Hardy Callaghan, one of the key coordinators behind the annual entry admitted Sunday she’s feeling the pressure of meeting expectations for the float.
This year’s entry featured lots of gold spray paint and gold fabric in recognition to this being the festival’s golden anniversary.
Family members usually get together around March break to discuss parade ideas, and then they try hard to keep their entry a secret until its big reveal on parade day. “The Oyster Festival is always their first parade of the year. Our theme always has to be a twisted theme towards oysters; we always have to have oysters,” she stressed.
Taking second and third in the oyster category were Fisherman’s Pride and P.E.I. Shellfish Association respectively.
First, second and third place winners in the much sought after community category were Tyne Valley, Bideford and Northam respectively.
The top three in the commercial category were Richard’s Quality Auto Repair, West Isle Enterprises and Dillons. The Non-commercial winners were Lennox Island Judo, Green Park and Tyne Valley Figure Skating Club.
The parade featured 74 entries.