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Traditions of SAINT JOHN

By the time this issue of See Saint John and Beyond is published, The Marigold Project will have cele-brated 18 years on June 4, 2015 when over 7,000 students from over 50 schools will have planted over 140,000 marigolds in locations between St. Stephen to Sussex, New Brunswick.  In 1997 Mari-golds on Main Street started out with students from local schools gathering each June to plant marigolds along Main Street in Saint John as part of a beautification project. The whole venture con-tinues to evolve each year and is now known as The Marigold Project. In 2013 it was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most youth planting flowers at one time – 34 loca-tions and 40 schools took part – and this year they broke that record!

This past May, Saint John celebrated 230 years of being Canada’s oldest incorporated city on May 18, 2015.  This date coincides with the landing of the Empire Loyalists from the United States in our har-bor back on May 18, 1783 – a total of about 10,000 Loyalists landed that year.  Each year as part of our tradition we celebrate Loyalist Day on May 18th in honour of Empire Loyalists who landed on our shores.  Loyalist Day is probably one of our oldest traditions.

Another tradition is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in March of each year.  Between 1815 and 1867 more than 150,000 Irish immigrants landed in New Bruns-wick (most of them on Partridge Island); by 1850, the Irish Catholic community was Saint John’s largest ethnic group. An Irish immigrant from County Kildare, Michael Flood, started what is now the oldest contin-uous running construction in Canada now known as John Flood & Sons (1961) Ltd. The current manage-ment is the fifth generation of the Flood family to op-erate the company. A couple of prominent buildings built by Flood include Caverhill Hall (corner of Syd-ney and Mecklenburg Street) and the Byzentine-style Church of the Assumption (West Saint John).

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