We're going to be spending 2 weeks in PEI in August, our first time in PEI, we'll be traveling with our moterhome. We're originally from Scotland so would love to visit the local Scottish culture and also love seafood. Want to take in as much of the local culture as possible and miss the tourist traps. Would appreciate anything you suggest. Thank you, Douglas and Gillian Smith

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Gillian Smith
St. Catharines , ON
PEI Ambassador Charlene Belsher
Charlene Belsher

Arts & Culture

Hello Gillian & Douglas,

I think August is my favourite month on ‘the Island’.  The weather is lovely and there are lots of local festivals celebrating agriculture, culture and all things ‘PEI’.

The south east corner in the Points East Coastal Drive region honours it s Scottish roots of the ‘Selkirk Settlers’ with the PEI Highland Games & Scottish Festival with lots of competitive pipe bands, dancers and athletics events.  This year marks the 154th year of the games and they are held on the first weekend of August at Lord Selkirk Park in Eldon. *A google search reveals many sites with information on the Selkirk settlers.

While here, do visit the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside as well.  This school has become quite renowned for the level of education it provides in piping, drumming and highland dance, and last year, the Grade 4B band won first 2017 World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland!  The school has evening performances through the summer, usually a delightful variety style show.  Their website doesn’t have a schedule up yet but you can check collegeofpiping.com closer to your vacation time for more information.

There is another historic site in the Tracadie bay area that is being researched and restored to honour Scottish settlers that arrived here in 1772.  It is called ‘Glenaladale’ and consists of a 529 acre estate with an 3 story brick home that was built in 1883. I don’t believe this site is open to the public, but included it here for your historical reference. www.glenaladalepei.com

Festivals on the Island in August are:

  • The Blueberry Festival St. Peters is held from the last weekend in July to the Sunday of the first weekend of August. Dances, bingo, dunk tank, pie eating contest provide old fashioned fun and I hear the festival closes off with a great fireworks show.
  • From August 10 to 12 you can hear some of the best Island and region musicians at ‘Cloggeroo’ in Georgetown. 
  • August 9th to 18th, the Island celebrates ‘Old Home Week’ in Charlottetown. Outside you will find a fairground and sulky horse racing. Inside, it is an agricultural fair with judging of the best cow, pig, rooster, etc.; western style horse competition; English horse riding; performances for great Island musicians; and my favourite - the ‘PEI Women’s Institute’ handcraft display.  Here you can find everything homemade or home grown - from hand stitched quilts to the best zucchini - watercolour painting to floral arrangements - the best biscuit to crocheted tablecloth. Overall, it is great fun and there is lots to see and do. http://oldhomeweekpei.com
  • Dundas Plowing Match & Agricultural Fair will be held Aug. 24 to 26. This is an old style agricultural fair - even the ‘Queen of the Furrows’ contestants have to plow a row as part of the competition. This year is the 78th annual fair and there will be displays of old time farming practices with horses and oxen, horticulture and handcraft displays.

I do want to add that though PEI has areas that are very popular, but due to strict provincial regulations regarding signage and growth, they are far from being a ‘tourist trap’.  The north shore area might be busier than the rest of the Island, but is well worth visiting for the beauty of the shoreline, the beaches and the charming ‘Anne of Green Gables’ house.

I hope this ‘saga’ helps and that you have a wonderful vacation on our beautiful Island!

All the best!