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Buchans to host Lucky Strike Festival Aug. 3-6

The Lucky Strike Festival is named for the Lucky Strike mine which was discovered July 14, 1926. The Lucky Strike head frame makes for beautiful photos. This year's festival will take place Aug. 3-6.
The Lucky Strike Festival is named for the Lucky Strike mine which was discovered July 14, 1926. The Lucky Strike head frame makes for beautiful photos. This year's festival will take place Aug. 3-6. - Pauline Dean

BUCHANS, N.L. – All the details and events are being finalized, and the 2018 Lucky Strike Festival (LSF) will happen in early August.  

Though there have been gaps, the festival (once known as Buchans Day Weekend) has run nearly 27 years straight. Tossed into the mix every five years are Come Home Year celebrations.

In 1991, then mayor, the late Harris Walsh was quoted in The Advertiser as saying, “It's catching on all around the province. Most every town got a day, but ours just got forgotten I suppose” — as Buchans Day hadn't been celebrated for five years at that point.   

That year turned out to be a great celebration of Buchans' heritage with the theme “In the Beginning".

And so the tradition continues. The 2018 festival will run from Aug. 3-6, incorporating the civic holiday on Monday.  Residents and visitors are encouraged to take part all the activities. The town's population is continuing to decline, so it helps if everyone gets involved.

A committee of eight people is spearheading the celebrations — Stephanie Noftle, Dianne West, Charlene FitzGerald, Judy White, Kathleen Caines, Rob Lane, Hank Whalen and Derm Corbett all expect that this year will be smaller and quieter than the 2017 Come Home Year celebration.

“Our home base this year is going to be the curling club,” Noftle explained. “We're not having anything at the stadium.  Last year was Come Home Year and we know we're not getting a big crowd like that this year. We're aiming activities more toward the few that are coming home and planning for our citizens really.”

The weekend celebrations will begin Friday evening with a bonfire across from the community ballfield, with the Lions Club serving up hot dogs for the kids. Later an Adult Kitchen Party with local talent will be held at the Llewellyn Budden Memorial Curling Club.

Saturday will see the LSF parade and residents are encouraged to participate by decorating floats, bikes, strollers, and other moving vehicles. A flea market with 10 craft tables, games of chance for children and adults and a barbecue will be held at the Curling Club. The Red Indian Lake Ground Search and Rescue Team Poker Run will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be teenie bopper, teen and adults dances at the curling club. The Lions Club will hold a special bingo some time during the weekend as well. More events are expected to be added.

The Family Day at Red Indian Lake beach will take place on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.

The final event will be the Bobber Race sponsored by the Buchans Lions Club held on Monday, Aug. 6.

As a final schedule of events isn't available yet, church groups, service organizations or individuals still have time to enter an activity into that schedule and/or volunteer to be a part of scheduled activities. Contact the Lucky Strike Festival on their Facebook page or contact Stephanie Noftle at 672-7303.

92 years ago, July 14

“...Although this was the beginning of July there still were patches of snow here and there on the big bog to the west.  Because of the wetness underfoot, the muggy atmosphere, and thick swarms of black flies which made it difficult to see the pickets through the telescope, work was almost unbearable. But our reward was to come soon. While finishing the survey of the anomaly a trench near the east electrode had disclosed promising lead-zinc mineralization. This location was appropriately named Black Fly. Then we searched for a favourable place to reach bedrock on the major indication in the centre of the square. The area here was flat and even, like the bottom of a dried-out lake, and appeared easy to get through. Just below the surface bright yellow and red clay with a few boulders of lead-zinc carbonate was encountered. The bedrock, about 2 or 3 feet down, was massive lead-zinc mineralization. Throughout the night my assistant and I kept on digging, sometimes with our bare hands, convinced that our indication was going to make mining history by the discovery of this large lead-zinc deposit. During the night my assistant, Hjortzberg-Norlund, said in his broken English “This is sure a luck find”. Williams corrected him, “not a lucky find, but a lucky strike”. The name Lucky Strike has remained with the mine ever since.” 

  • Hans T. Lundberg, Geophysicist, Swedish American Prospecting Corporation. 

Source: “Mining History of the Buchans Area', by the late George Neary and appears in the 2007, third edition of  “Hardrock Miners of Buchans”. Copies of the book still available for purchase.

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