The Village of Masset celebrated its 50-year anniversary during the Harbour Days festival that took place in the community over the weekend.
While Masset has existed in one form or another for much longer than a meagre half-century, it wasn’t until May in 1961 that they officially incorporated into a village.
The Harbour Days had events that ran the entire weekend, from the early morning until well into the evening. While the weather took an unexpected turn for the worst on Saturday and forced a couple of events, such as face-painting, to be canceled, but it didn’t seem to stop people from coming out and taking part in the majority of events that were still going ahead.
On Saturday, there was a contest on the Main Street pier where kids tried to catch the biggest fish before five p.m. that evening. The winners got their pick of prizes which included a new rod and other assorted fishing equipment. Players from different Haida Gwaii communities showed up at the Masset roller rink for a hockey tournament, minus the ice. Right next to the rink, kids were having their own soccer tournament in front of spectators. That night there was a billiards tournament and two dances, one for adults and one for teenagers.
At times there was so much food to be had you didn’t know where to start. On both days the Lions Club put on a pancake breakfast fundraiser, the volunteer firefighters cooked hamburgers all day long, and the Masset co-op was hosting a ice cream parlour. To encourage healthy eating, people were being given free fruit, vegetables and smoothies. On Sunday there was a community wide picnic held in a school gym.
On Sunday, the sun reappeared just in time for biggest day of events. For the smaller kids there was a petting zoo with a rabbit, goats and geese for them to play with and a tent where volunteers read stories while the kids decorated cloth bags. For the older kids there were padded sumo suits for people to smash into each other without hurting themselves. For the sea-faring family there were boat races at the fishermen’s marina where families rowed as hard as they could to see which boat could make it back to the dock
The real crowd pleaser was the parade, that came marching down Main Street on the 50-year-old pavement that was only put in when the village incorporated. Just about every single float seemed to be throwing candy to the children on the side walks. The parade may have been short, but it was sweet.