Monday, October 22, 2007

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador
Twillingate is a town of about 3,000 inhabitants situated on two neighbouring islands in northern Newfoundland. Its name comes from the French word "Toulinquet" which was given to the islands by French fishermen, who named them after a group of islands off the French coast, near Brest, also called Toulinquet.
Twillingate is at the mouth of the Exploits River where it flows into Notre Dame Bay. The islands provided an excellent sheltered harbour and easy access to the rich fishing grounds nearby. In recent years a causeway has been built connecting it to the mainland via New World Island.
Twillingate was probably used as a seasonal fishing port during the 15th and 16th centuries, but there were no recorded European settlers until the 17th century. The native Beothuk managed to survive until the early 19th century in small numbers near Twillingate and the mouth of the Exploits River. By the winter of 1739, there were 152 people - the "livyers" or permanent settlers - living in Twillingate. They were mostly fishermen and their families from the West Country in England.
As the population grew, Twillingate became an important fishing community - the "Capital of the North." It was a busy trade and service centre for Labrador and the northern shore fisheries for more than two centuries.
One of the most prominent historical events of Twillingate history was its local newspaper - The Twillingate Sun which served the Twillingate district from the 1880's to 1950's.
The Sun was a robust and professional newspaper that covered not just local & provincial but international news as well.
Since the moratorium on fishing northern cod was announced on July 2, 1992, Twillingate has been forced to look to the tourist industry for income and is becoming a popular spot for visitors in the summer. It is now being promoted as the "Iceberg Capital of the World".
Twillingate is home to a popular summer festival, called the "Fish Fun and Folk Festival". Many tourists from around the world come to take part in the events and concerts held annually.
The "Fish Fun and Folk Festival" is usually held in the last part of July and has many fun things to do including booths and games at the stadium, entertainment on Thursday & Friday nights, gospel concerts, the ever-popular Split Peas concert, and many more things that are great for the entire family. The festival invites many tourists to the beautiful town and ends with a massive fireworks display.

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