Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


We are knee deep in Gingerbread this month ! We are all about our little molasses men and the 14 Gingerbread house creations that will be on display at the Chester Train Station this weekend.
Our "flat men" are turning up on properties all over the village this week with some interesting twists. Come and have a look at the new displays.

Eric Harding, our Tradewinds Realty gingerbread "man on the street" was the poster boy last weekend at the Gingerbread Fair at CDS, to the delight of all the attendants. Thank you Eric !

This Week in Chester

The Merchants have banded together to make a gift basket valued at over $1000 which you can win. We encourage people to spend their shekels here in the Hamlet then everyone wins.This campaign runs from Friday until December 21st. You may enter the draw when you "shop local."

The Chester Playhouse Annual Poinsettia sale is   b a c k !  They are all red this year so you won't have to agonize over a choice of colour as to what will match the sofa, and they are available for the bargain basement price of $20. Order today (and I mean TODAY) and your little red bundle of joy will be available for pick up or delivery next Saturday.

"The Cynthetics" are hip to the Christmas scene this season with cocktail music to celebrate. You may book them for your staff party, house gathering, huge blow out event or dinner for one. Visit their Facebook page then dial up those dulcet tones directly @ 902-233-4781

Thursday is the opening of the annual Victorian Christmas Show and Sale at the Lordly House at 133 Central Street. They have over 20 vendors with a wide selection of items including wooden bowls, knit and crochet items, glass, jewelry, soaps, hooked mats, quilts, specialty vinegars, and a whole bunch more. The show runs daily from 10-5pm until Sunday and it costs a loonie to get in the front door. One fifth of all proceeds will be donated to the Chester Municipal Heritage Society for restoration work in the village. 902-273-2176  -  knowledge at your fingertips.

Friday night kicks off our Gingerbread festival with Christmas tree lighting at the Chester Train Station. Plan to arrive at 6:30 pm and take part in the Efficiency (oxymoron) Nova Scotia Holiday Light Exchange. Santa will jet in at 7pm for the tree lighting. Music, hot chocolate and cookies await. Food Bank donations are welcome.

This is a big weekend of Christmas celebration on the South Shore. The Hubbards Market is back from 8am - noon on Saturday in the Barn. The Gingerbread Houses are on display at the Chester Train Station Saturday from 10-4pm and Sunday from 12-4pm and Father Christmas is in Mahone Bay all weekend so there is something for everyone here on the Bluenose Coast.

Sunday is the last mine tour of the season down at Gold River. For more info/reservation (a must) call 902-275-3718.

Chester Playhouse presents "The Gingerbread Man" next Tuesday evening at 7 pm. Theatre students from 5-8 years old are on stage. I actually attended one of these "short one" productions and was pleasantly surprised with the talent. GN Thermoforming is the top supporter of the Chester Playhouse and it is because of their help these programs are possible.

The Annual Chester Brass Band Christmas dinner will be held next Sunday, December 7th at  Atlantica Hotel in Western Shore. For reservations dial up the maestro @ (902) 275-3453
Tickets are flying out the door so hurry and book your seat/ table now !

Merchant Gift Basket
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I have shared these tips before but I think it is worth revisiting as the holiday season approaches...

Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. If you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
Drink as much eggnog as you can. Who cares that it has 10,000 calories?
Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


It's that time of year to pull your little brown flat man out of the basement, sweep off the cobwebs and maybe make him a new 2014 outfit. Show him off to the neighbours.

We have 14 entries for the Gingerbread Competition. Wahooo ! They will be on display next weekend at the Train Station.
This Week in Chester

Don't forget to buy your OHC 50/50 ticket this week. Buy now, buy often.
You may now purchase your tickets online .

Remember that every Wednesday the South Shore Library Bus is at the Chester Legion from 1- 4:30 pm. This is free for all to join and they have a great selection of books, magazines and videos. Don't miss the blue bus when it comes to the village as there is something for everyone.

It is Christmas Craft Fair weekend in the Hamlet.... EVERYWHERE !

This Saturday the Gingerbread Craft Fair will be held at the Chester District School from 9 - 1 pm. Crafts, food, live music and family fun. Support the Lighthouse Food Bank and bring a can of food!  For info:

There is a Craft Fair at the Chester Baptist Church from 10 - 3 pm on Saturday as well. There will be a variety of items to choose from; jams, knitted goods, willow baskets, sea glass jewelry, fudge, stuffed children. Free admission.

St. Stephen's Community Centre is hosting their Annual Christmas Bazaar on Regent Street and the  doors open at 11am with goodies such as books, Christmassy things, wreaths and a baking table. Lunch will be served from 11:30am -1:30pm. Adults $8, Children under 10 years $5. Soups, homemade bread, apple crisp and tea/coffee. I think a flask is in order here. Three craft fairs in one day? Something's got to give.

Saturday evening Alejandra Ribera, the Argentinean/Scottish songstress is onstage at the Chester Playhouse with a three-piece jazz band in tow at 7:30 pm.
Alejandra is known for her wild vocal range and eclectic writing style and has been compared to artists like Edith Piaf, Tom Waits and Joan Armatrading. Alejandra plays anything from jazz ballads, to Mexican folk tunes to alternative pop. Never satisfied to sit still, Ribera bursts with energy on stage and exudes a deep commitment to her art. Her show sold out here in 2012 so get your tickets today ! I heard her on CBC yesterday afternoon. I actually waited by the radio till the end to hear who was singing. Don't miss this girl.

The Gold Mines Tour is this Sunday - a 2 hour guided walking tour of the West Side of Gold River Gold Mines, part of the Nova Scotia Gold Rush of the 1860s, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm. For more info/reservation (a must) call 902-275-3718.

Sunday night there is a Gospel Concert at the Chester Baptist Church @7 pm with Rev Dan Green leading the way. All are welcome. Great music with Hymn Sing starting 6:30 pm.

On Monday there is a blood donor Clinic at the Chester Legion from 1 - 3 pm and again from 5 - 8 pm. For more info dial up the vampires @ 1-888-236-6283. It is in you to give - so give it up !
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CDO is like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be.

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


The girls' send off last Wednesday was epic. The Fo'c'sle was almost as packed as New Year's Day ! The decibel level at the PO next door is a bit lower these days. I will now need to invest in an alarm clock to get out of bed.

Your gingerbread entry form must be received by 5 pm Saturday to be eligible for the competition. $$$ to be won! Start your ovens now !

Local talent abounds this week. Read on.
This Week in Chester

Don't forget to buy your OHC 50/50 ticket this week. More buyers result in bigger winners.
You may now buy your tickets online .

Friday night Old Man Luedecke is on stage at the Chester Playhouse at 7:30pm. Chester's own award-winning roots singer-songwriter's latest album "Tender Is The Night," songs are playful, coy, and soul warming. Chris's music is rich in metaphor, heart and instrumentation...this is a show not to be missed.

Saturday evening is loaded with options but you may pick only one as they are all at the same time.

Local boy Ryan Emms CD Release Party "Couldn't Be Better" is happening at Atlantica Oak Island Resort from 4 - 6 pm. Donations to IWK for Sick Kids.

The Chester Baptist Church is hosting a Kohl Canon supper from 4:30 - 6:00 pm. Get over there right after lunch.

"After, Even After - with a Twist" is a dinner theatre presentation by the Accidental Actors sponsored by the Shoreham Village Ladies Auxiliary at the Chester Legion. Doors open 5:30 pm and the play starts at 7pm. Roast piglet is on the menu.Tickets are $25 and are available at Shoreham Village office, Bank of Nova Scotia or Gerri Allen @ 902-275-3817.

On Sunday the Gold River Gold Mines Tour is happening from 1:30 - 3:30pm. A two hour guided walking tour of the West Side of Gold River Gold Mines, part of the Nova Scotia Gold Rush of the 1860s.  All proceeds in support of Chester Municipal Heritage Society. For more info/reservation (a must) call 902-275-3718.

Pat and Angela await you at the Village Emporium on Pleasant Street. A delightful shop with something for everyone from books to jewelry to clothing and everything in between. Think Christmas and think "Shop Local."

Monday there is a Chester Garden Club meeting at the St. Stephen's Hall at 6:30pm. Guest Speaker Svenja Dee will demonstrate how to make a seasonal wreath and a seasonal centerpiece. Refreshments followed by AGM. New members welcome.

Tuesday evening at 7pm the "Friends of Nature" will hold their AGM at the Baptist Church Hall. Guest Speaker Rosemarie Lohnes will speak on her Living Shorelines Project. Rosemarie has been working with the Ecology Action Centre on ways to minimize coastal erosion without destroying the living ecosystems of our shorelines. Mary-Frances Lynch will provide an update on the South Canoe Wind Farm; Jamie Simpson will speak on the latest developments in sustainable harvesting practices in Nova Scotia. All are welcome.
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"Energizer Bunny Arrested: Charged with Battery."

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


Today is a day of celebration for Susan and Christine at the Post Office. The girls have only been counting down the days for 3 years now and today is IT ! Join them at the Fo'c'sle Pub after 5 pm when they slam the doors behind them at the PO for the last time.

It's also Guy Fawkes Day so feel free to unleash your inner Pyro.

On the topic of retirement we would like to thank Doctor George Jollymore for all his years of untiring service to the village and we wish him all the best.
                                                                                                                Dolly Hancock photo
This Week in Chester

We were invited to partake in a full moon sauerkraut making day last week which was a wonderful learning experience. This is an all day event as one needs to allow time to drink beer.

Don't forget to buy your OHC 50/50 tickets at participating retailers. Vast sums to be won !

How's your gingerbread creation coming along? Burnt any yet?
To enter the Gingerbread competition email for an entry form, or pick up a form at the Chester Pharmasave . Mail completed forms to Gingerbread Competition, P.O. Box 508 Chester NS B0J 1J0 or email information required to . Registration must be received by 5pm Saturday, November 15th. You must register to enter.

Today is also the last day to enter Going Coastal's One-of-a-Kind Christmas Show.
They are looking for artists and artisans that create one-of-a-kind limited edition Christmas/winter art, crafts, home decor and giftware. Send up to 10 images of your work to be considered to complete with name and a small bio. First come first served juried show, artists will be notified of results by email. Accepted works to be dropped off at the gallery 41 Queen St. Chester by November 12th. The show will run November 15th-December 22nd.

Friday is Prescription Drug drop-off at the Chester Pharmasave from 10 am to 3 pm. Turn in your expired, unused prescription drugs, it prevents medications from falling into the wrong hands.

Jazzette are playing at the Kiwi Café Sunday from noon until 2pm. Get there early to assure a seat and get your order in for Lynda's yummy eggs benny...and maybe a brownie to go?

This Sunday the Chester Municipal Heritage Society is holding their second two hour guided walking tour of the West side of Gold River Gold Mines from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.  Adults $10, children (7-12) $5 and under 6 years are free. For more info/reservations (a must) call 902 275-3718.

Next Tuesday is Remembrance Day. Get to the Cenotaph before 1100 and share in the very moving ceremony.
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Irony. The opposite of Wrinkly.

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release
Photo: Suzi Fraser


This past week has been shocking and solemn for Canada.

In Quebec, Ontario, and here on Nova Scotia's Hwy 103, we tragically lost 3 good people.
3 people left home in the morning and never made it back again. All seem senseless and so very sad. 
Be thoughtful. Live each day with purpose and appreciation.
This Week in Chester

Friday, of course, will bring all the wee rug rats out at dusk as they trick or treat around the village. Be prepared for some excellent costumes that may be darting about in a sugar frenzy. Drive carefully if en route to your Friday night out.... which could include a Halloween Party at the Fo'c'sle with prizes for the best costumes (We'll miss George this year :( ) It's the usual Rib Night special and regular menu but The George Carter Band will be playing from 9-1pm.

Just around the corner Hog the Covers are playing at the Chester Legion from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am. $5 cover. Prizes for costumes too, but if your face is covered you have to 'expose' yourself to the bartender for a drink... Sounds scary. Members and guests over 19 years welcome.  For more info call 902 275-3315.

On Saturday, there's a Roast Beef Supper at the Chester United Baptist Church from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.  Enjoy roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, dessert, tea/coffee.  Adults $12 and Children under 12 years $6. Take-outs available. Sponsored by the Masonic Clarke Lodge #61.

All just in time for catching Carlton Stone, Dylan Guthro and Breagh MacKinnon at the Chester Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 adult/$16 student and available by calling 902 275-3933 or online at outstanding, singer songwriter musicians under one roof. Quite a treat!

Or start November in '70s style at the The Galley's inaugural Disco Ball.  Squeeze into your favorite bell-bottom catsuit, don the platforms and dance the night away. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $15 or $25 per couple, which includes a comp 70s cocktail, light snacks, music and 'almost 70s drink prices' - reserve today at 902 273 3463.  à la carte snack menu will also be available.

On Sundays throughout November (there are 5 of them and the first one is this Sunday 2nd) The Chester Municipal Heritage Society are holding two-hour guided walking tours of the West side of Gold River Gold Mines, part of the Nova Scotia Gold Rush of the 1860s. These are from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  Adults $10, children (7-12) $5 and under 6 years are free. For more info/reservation (a must) call 902 275-3718.

Light my Fire Studio are currently stocking up for the upcoming Big season and are open daily until after Christmas - then shortened hours until spring. (Check their answering machine 866 739 5800 or 902 275 5800 for exact hours). They will also be showcasing their wares at the Nova Scotia Designer Craft Show at the Cunard Centre in Halifax November 21-23. So get in there before it all goes.

Going Coastal are looking for artists, artisan, and craft people that are making one-of-kind limited edition Christmas/ Winter Art, Crafts, Home Decor and Gift Ware for their annual Christmas show that runs from Nov 15 to Dec 22 '14. Full details of this juried show can be found here. Deadline for submissions is Nov 5.

I had help with my Halloween decorating:
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The Other One
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22nd, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


I decided to go for a walk the other day and had the misguided idea to ask my friend to take her dog with me. How hard could it be to walk a dog? Monumental I discovered. The retractable leash was beyond my capabilities as the dog dug his paws in with 70 lbs of canine determination while I dragged him backwards. I returned and was issued a short leash and was shown how to wrap it around his middle for more control. The end result was dragging him sideways. I pulled him two blocks to the beach and found some friends trying to get a boat off the rocks. Mental dilemma : what to do with the dog while I try to help. Clipped the dog to the  picnic bench, waded into the water and pushed and pulled. We were at this for 15 minutes or so when someone realized the dog had chewed through his leash and was wandering around. AAACKK !
Left the friends and the boat still on the rocks, grabbed the dog, tied the leash bits together and headed back.The return trip wasn't as fraught as he knew it was the homeward stretch. I show up on my friend's doorstep squish, squish, squishing in my sneakers, soaked to my thighs with the chewed leash in tatters. The look on her face was priceless.       Next time I am taking my cat.
This Week in Chester

Remember to buy your 50/50 tickets for the OHC lottery. Big money to be won here and all for the right reasons - your health.

Calling all Gingerbreads. Get your oven mitts on and start your engines. Your entry form must be received by November 15th and your sugary split level must be delivered to the Train Station on November 27th.

We have a new partner on the block ! The Chester Gold and Silver Company is located at 34 Queen Street under the Tradewinds building. Their grand opening is this Friday and they will man the shop until Christmas. Stop in and welcome the new kids to the 'hood.

Saturday night the Spinney Brothers are on stage at the Chester Playhouse @ 7:30pm. Heralded all over North America as champions of traditional bluegrass music, the Spinney Brothers are proud to be home, touring in support of their new CD "Tried & True."  The Spinney boys believe in the freshness and excitement of traditional bluegrass music. Brother duet singing, backed by supportive and complimentary instrumentation, is the foundation of their recognizable sound.

Please note that Nicki's Inn is now open from Thursday to Sunday until the first week of December.

Monday the Fo'c'sle is changing tacks and will feature a soup and sandwich special to launch you into the work week.

Monday night the Chester Municipal Heritage Society is hosting a Paranormal evening at St. Stephen's Parish Centre, 54 Regent Street, Chester starting 7:30 pm.  Featuring ghost stories by Gail Smith and Sharon Houghton, with an opportunity for participants to share their own stories.  Special guests from the Paranormal Society will deliver very interesting results of their investigations of the former Train Station in Chester. (902) 275-3826 / 275-3718 for info. Boo !
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"The most powerful antidepressant has 4 paws, fur, and a wagging tail."  Yeah, right.

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release

What a phenomenal Thanksgiving weekend it was. The weather was better than anything summer offered !

Yesterday's big garbage was an event in it's own right. That purging feeling is terribly liberating. The beauty of it is... it's like recycling. As soon as something is on the street, it disappears - before the truck even rolls into the village at daybreak.
This Week in Chester

Tonight is Big Pitcher Wednesday at the Fo'c'sle Pub. $3.00 off pitchers to accompany your pasta special of the day. Not for the gluten faint-of-heart but there are other menu options.

Don't forget to pick up a few 50/50 tickets for this week's OHC draw. There's usually a pretty good pot by the time of the draw. Think of it as our own local QE II lottery without the King's Wharf condo.

Stop by "Flowers, Flowers, Flowers" on Pleasant Street this week and see what Robin has in the fridge. This is a delightful little shop with a truly delightful owner. Pick up a bouquet of posies for your loved one, or the cat.

The Gingerbreads are coming ! Yes, it is that time of year to think about your ground ginger creation. This year has expanded to include "Boats, Barns and Buildings." Your molasses mansion must be delivered to the Chester Art Centre by November 27th. Click their website for details and entry form.

Thursday evening the Chester Playhouse is screening "Gallipoli" a 1981 Australian film directed by Peter Weir starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee as young men from rural Western Australia who enlist in the Australian Army during the First World War. They are sent to the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) where they take part in the Gallipoli Campaign. During the course of the movie, the young men slowly lose their innocence about the purpose of war. Mel in his prime...before it all went south.

Lennie Gallant returns to the Chester Playhouse stage on Saturday at 7:30 pm with two supporting musicians. This prolific songwriter needs no introduction with ten albums to his credit (eight in English and two in French), which have won him a host of awards and nominations from both the JUNOs and East Coast Music Awards. This tour celebrates his newest CD "Live at the Carleton."

Sunday morning recovery may come in the form of "Hail Caesar Sunday" at the Fo'c'sle with $1.50 off Absolut caesars from 11-3 pm to augment the eggs bennie.
Cocktails before noon? Never in Chester. We're all in church.

If you missed the turkey bird last week at Nicki's, you can catch something hot out of the roasting pan with all the trimmings this Sunday night from 5 - 8pm.

Trivia Tuesdays resume next week at the Fo'c'sle Pub. Be there at 6:30pm sharp with your wits.

Malcolm Callaway's art class this month is now full but take heart, the Master will be offering another class in the Spring.
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Da wife had been after me to paint the seat on our toilet. I finally got around to it one day while she was out, then left for the hardware store for supplies.
She returned before I could alert her of my manly capabilities around the house.
She sat on the toilet only to realize she had become glued to the not-quite-dry epoxy paint when she tried to stand up.
When I returned home, I heard the call for help and went to the rescue.
We both pushed and pulled to no avail. In desperation I undid the toilet seat bolts and wrapped her in a sheet and we drove to the ER.
Da wife tried to lighten the embarrassment of it all by saying, "Well, Doctor, I'll bet you've never seen anything like this before."
The Doctor replied, "Actually, I've seen lots of them...
I've just never seen one mounted and framed."

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 8th, 2014 Press Release!

Chester Merchants Press Release


So what's up with the WHITE pumpkins? That takes the good right out of fall harvest colours.

Everyone knows there is no white allowed after Labour Day.

Our Gingerbread Festival is imminent. Start thinking about your creation to enter in the contest.
Summer drove away in Kerry's truck last week
This Week in Chester

This Friday is the LAST Chester Farmer's Market of the year. Get to the Train Station and load up your environmentally friendly satchel because this is it. There is more than just food about stocking up on a few gifts? The garlic grater man has some very useful items, the wood turning guy has some beautiful pieces or some brownies from Kate to see you through the weekend (or morning.)

A reminder to buy your OHC 50-50 tickets. Next week's draw will take place Tuesday at the Hubbards Pharmasave @ 4pm.
Next Tuesday is the OHC public meeting at the Baptist Church on King Street @ 7 pm.

Malcolm Callaway will be teaching "Painting in the Fall" classes at the Chester Art Centre starting next week. He will guide you through the mysteries of palette, composition, paint handling and various brush and knife techniques through demonstrations and hands-on tutoring. You will go away with a finished painting by the end of the five-week session. Classes are Thursdays from 1- 4pm October 16th, 23rd, 30th and November 6th and 13th. You may register through their website.

I caught up with Paula MacDonald at Amicus Gallery this week. A delightful gallery on Pleasant Street showcasing Nova Scotia artists and artisans. Pottery, art work, wood creations, jewelry, stain glass, sweaters and so much more. Stop in and check it out.
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Irony at Bayer's Lake

An elderly gentleman lay sprawled across three seats in the movie theatre.
An usher came by and whispered to the old man, "Sorry sir, but you're only allowed one seat."
The old man didn't budge. The usher became impatient.
"Sir, if you don't get up I'm going to have to call the manager."

Once again the old man just muttered and did not move.
The usher returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried to move him but with no success. Finally they summoned the police.

The officer surveyed the situation briefly then asked, "All right buddy, what's your name?"
"Fred," the old man moaned. "Where ya from Fred?" asked the officer.
With a terrible grunt in his voice and without moving, he replied..."the balcony."

Suzi Fraser
for the Chester Merchants Group
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