RV travelers love to explore new parts of the country, but what about the world? If you are looking for something fun to do this fall, then prepare your documentation, pack your bags, and travel across the border to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Fredericton, such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market, but what brings thousands of visitors to the area is the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival.
The festival is the largest music event in the city and includes six days of musicians in around three city blocks. Tents, outdoor venues, and official clubs and pubs make up the hot spots of this festival, where over 400 artists carry out over 150 performances on 20 stages.
This event is huge, and it’s no wonder that RV travelers from across the United States start planning their trip to Canada a long time in advance. You can make your way from one venue to the next, as long as you have tickets for each, and then explore the greater New Brunswick area and all it has to offer.
If you think the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival sounds like your cup of tea, then start planning today. Accommodation nearby sells out months in advance, and tickets are often in short supply. There’s no better time than now to start planning your unforgettable trip to Canada!
Given how many stages and performances there are, buying tickets for the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival can require some time and attention. There are often passes and package deals for concert tents or private venues, or you can buy them for individual performers. You can also choose to “add on” tickets to particular people you want to see.
Many jazz and blues enthusiasts prefer to buy ultimate tickets that provide access to all venues. Festival tickets sell out fast, so don’t delay in securing yours as soon as they go up for sale online.
Driving into another country in your RV might seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’ve got a traffic resource like NB511, all your appropriate documentation, and understand what’s required of you at the border, you can enjoy a stress-free journey to York County and Sunbury County where you will find Fredericton, New Brunswick.
This beautiful city bordering the Saint John River is a mere 75 miles from the Maine border along I-95. It’s also within 200 miles of Bangor and around 430 miles of Boston. Those who are looking for a short vacation in their RV will surely find the distance is more than suitable for a day’s drive.
What’s more, you can make stops along the way to explore the area’s beautiful attractions, such as the Portobello Creek National Wildlife Area. Or, why not go hiking at Baxter State Park, weather permitting?
When you arrive in Fredericton, follow the sounds of jazz and blues to the Saint John River. Here, you will find limited on-street parking and plenty of people waiting for the fun to kick off.
Parking is limited in Downtown Fredericton, and there are often road closures in place to keep pedestrians safe. Those who visit the city in their motorhome may like to arrange to park at their nearby accommodation before arranging a ride into the town. Doing so can save any stress associated with finding somewhere safe for parking your RV for the day or overnight.
Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival organizers understand that parking is limited. For convenience, they have run a shuttle bus in past years to pick people up from various parts of the city. This shuttle service has often run until the wee hours of the morning and makes trips to local accommodation providers. Guests who would prefer not to make use of the shuttle can also organize rideshare and taxi services in advance for convenience.
Over a dozen venues make up the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Downtown Fredericton, which means onsite camping is not an option for those who travel to the area in an RV. According to the event organizers, few campgrounds are open in the township during this festival.
When you confirm your tickets to the festival, try to book your accommodation months in advance. You can then have more of a chance of being in the city, or at least on the outskirts toward Oromocto.
While there are RV campgrounds near the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, many are closed or plan on closing before the festival ends. The closure date can be weather dependent as fall turns to winter. Fortunately, there are still a handful of options in Fredericton and surrounding parts of New Brunswick, such as Kingsclear. Hartt Island RV Resort and Water Park has been known to stay open through mid-October and sits less than 10 miles from the festival.
If you plan on doing a little traveling during the six days of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, then why not stay somewhere comfortable and scenic? Sussex KOA, within 80 miles of Fredericton, is an idyllic spot to stop. It’s also within a convenient driving distance of the Fundy National Park of Canada near Fundy Bay.
Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is located in Downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Fredericton forms a small section along the St. John River in between Queen’s Square, Sunshine Gardens, and Rabbit Town. The best way to get around this part of New Brunswick for the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival is on foot. There are three city blocks to cover with 20 stages, which means thousands of people can make the use of bicycles and skateboards a little tricky.
Fredericton has a humid continental climate that sees even fall temperatures as relatively mild. However, its inland position means that rainfall and flooding are not unexpected, so plan for all weather conditions. Pack clothing that you can layer up or down, and that will serve you well during the day and night. If you plan on taking day trips to go walking at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge near Saint Stephen and similar, then pack clothing that will suit this purpose as well.
Over six days of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, you will soon get a feel for how much equipment will be comfortable to carry at each venue. Don't forget to bring your ID, ticket, and payment cards. There are plenty of ATMs within the event's day time tents and the city's banks to withdraw cash. Guests can also use cash to buy beer tokens.
There may be no need to bring chairs into the tent venues, as bleachers and tables will be available. However, lawn chairs are permitted at some of the outdoor events. No food or beverages can be brought into any venue, so bring plenty of cash or payment cards for purchases once you get to each performance.
Health and safety rules and regulations can differ from one establishment to the next. Most venues will be able to cater to your general needs, such as water for hydration. However, consider the need for sunscreen during outdoor events, prescription medication, and toiletries you need to carry as well. Those who wish to go exploring, such as walking at the Loch Alva Wilderness Area near Saint John, may like to bring bug spray and a stocked first-aid kit.
There’s nothing quite like a hearty stew, soup, or chili when you’re taking an RV trip in the fall. If you are carrying out camping prep before you arrive in Canada, such as making your meals in advance, then a customs declaration could be in order. Many travelers may prefer to stock up on grocery items at the grocery store in Fredericton across the road from Queen Square.
Guests staying in a Fredericton RV Park nearby may also like to check that they have enough propane for their grills and onboard cookers. Ask your host before you light any campfires.
Fredericton is home to many established eateries that are ready and willing to cater to festival-goers. Cafes, bistros, bars, and pizza joints are all within walking distance of the festival, which means you are not likely to go hungry. Given how busy the city is during the festival, allow extra time for service.
As you can’t bring a bagged lunch and drinks into any of the venues, the vendors of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival provide plenty of delicious cuisine options. Attendees can buy beer tokens before or during the festival to make alcohol purchases, and there is at least one food vendor in each tent. No matter where you are during the festival, there will be a food vendor ready to sell you something to eat. Bring both cash and payment cards to broaden your options.
Security screening processes can differ for each event, since some are in tents, outside, and private venues. Expect a heavy security presence throughout the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and within Fredericton itself. You may even notice more police on the streets to offer a helping hand.
If you have any questions or concerns, approach a festival staff member. Fredericton Police Department is also a short walk from the St. John River and the downtown area.
September is known for often being the calm before the storm in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Snowfall is common between November and April, and flooding is frequent in spring. September in fall, however, tends to be quite mild, with temperatures around the 70 degrees-Fahrenheit mark. Allow for any weather conditions by tuning into a weather app. This is crucial if you’re a tiki-tourer who likes to check out local towns and cities like Houlton and Quebec City.
While there isn’t likely to be a dedicated first-aid area for each performance, you will never be too far from one. Most private venues will have first aid kits, and officials can point you in the direction of healthcare. You can also dial 911 or 112 in an emergency or visit the local hospital within a few miles of Downtown Fredericton in the direction of New Maryland, New Brunswick.