Fredericton full of music enthusiasts and marathon participants - with them, a sense of normal

Although COVID-19 cases are still in the thousands each week, there was a sense of normalcy in Fredericton over the weekend – with two major events able to go ahead without delay for the first time in two years.

The East Coast Music Awards sparked full hotels and café kitchen parties across the city. Andy McLean, CEO, said strong ticket sales and turnout to concerts were good for the soul.

"It’s like the old adage of getting back on a bike, it felt a little strange maybe, way back on Wednesday when we launched our opening party, maybe it felt a little bit strange for a few minutes, but we got right back into the groove," he said on Sunday.

The ECMA’s have an economic spin-off of about $3 million – which also meant some needed recovery for businesses in the city.

"The participation, the engagement, the enthusiasm from Fredericton, from the fans, all of our volunteers who really made this whole event happen…that to me is the essence of why we are here," said McLean. "And then to see the music community, that they can gather for the first time, and they’ve really missed that gathering."

The music collided with another weekend event – the Fredericton marathon – which saw over a thousand participants.

The marathon was able to go ahead during its normal weekend for the first time since May 2019.

"It brings back some form of tradition and normalcy," said co-race director, Bruce Macfarlane. "The running community, you can see, with more and more people signing up with this as the first big race, first marathon events of the Maritimes…it’s just encouraging to see the numbers up."

There was also a provincial volleyball tournament with 99 teams participating at the Grant-Harvey Centre in the city.