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Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, they were the fi rst known inhabitants in the region. Fast forward to 1604 when the French established the fi rst colony in North America on St. Croix Island. Although the expulsion of the Acadians began in 1755, they were allowed to return nine years later. Before the end of that century, thousands of Loyalist exiles from the American Revolution moved into New Brunswick. In 1785, Partridge Island (on the outskirts of Saint John) was established as a quarantine station—100 years before Ellis Island! Over 3,000,000 immigrants from all over the world stepped foot on Partridge Island. Many communities in the province showcase their culture. Events and festivals take centre stage and experiences abound. Oh yes—and New Brunswick is the only bilingual province (English/French) in the country. ALL SEASON PROVINCE One of the unique things about New Brunswick is that it is also big on winter sports and activities. With one of the longest snow seasons in the province, Sugarloaf Provincial Park off ers the largest variety of winter outdoor activities in one location, from Alpine skiing, cross-country, snow- shoeing and tobogganing, to ice skating, snowmobiling, tubing and snowboarding. Fredericton is noted for Frostival, a family-friendly outdoor festival, which will be celebrating its 5 th anniversary this year with over 150 events. For something out of the ordinary, slip up to Plaster Rock for the World Pond Hockey Championship, where over 120 teams worldwide compete for trophies—and for the pure love of the sport. WHAT'S NEW The Fundy Biosphere Reserve has created an Amazing Places Challenge from April to August for Canada's 150 th celebration. Fifty amazing hiking destinations have been identifi ed in the reserve and the challenge is for people of all ages to experience them, with prizes being awarded for those completing specifi c increments of the challenge. A website companion piece will include logistical information as well as stories about local characters, photographs and important historical events in the region ( www. West Hills Golf Club features a newly completed 18-hole Par 72 course—a visually dramatic course that is challenging, memorable and exciting to play ( www. Skywalk Saint John opened above the Reversing Falls and is the talk of the town. The Restigouche River Experience Centre in Campbellton explores the history and fi shing of the region—and more! (www. Village Historique Acadien has a new restaurant called Café Bistro du Village, with authentic Acadian fare including their famous sugar pie ( www.villagehistorique CITY LIGHTS New Brunswick has one of the highest concentrations of craft breweries in Atlantic Canada. Several outlets featuring locally- made meads, ciders and craft beers are within walking distance of each other in the capital city of Fredericton. To top it off , Queen Street is chockablock full of unique shops, tons of gobsmacking open spaces, along with a performance theatre, hotel, convention centre, and world-class gallery. No wonder Fredericton is referred to as a cultural capital ( Saint John has earned the moniker "Saint Awesome" because of a hugely successful campaign by the same name whereby it reintroduced the city's distinc- tive dining, outdoor, heritage and urban experiences. It's all here, including the world-famous Reversing Falls and Stonehammer Geopark—North America's fi rst UNESCO Global Geopark ( www. Moncton/Dieppe, long known as "Hub City," is a feisty urban centre that features SHEDIAC BAY LOBSTER TOURS • CTC NB 117

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