Lobster News

Pictou Lobster Carnival 2023 Lineup: A Spectacular Feast of Entertainment and Fresh Seafood

If you are looking for a fun-filled weekend of music, culture and delicious food, you might want to mark your calendar for the Pictou Lobster Carnival in Nova Scotia, Canada. This annual event, which dates back to 1934, celebrates the end of the lobster fishing season in the area and showcases the rich maritime heritage and talent of the region. The carnival features a variety of activities and entertainment for all ages and tastes, from lobster dinners and boat races to fireworks and parades. Here are some of the highlights of the 2023 lineup that you won’t want to miss.

Musical Entertainment

The carnival boasts a main stage that hosts some of the best local and national musical acts in different genres, from rock and blues to folk and country. The 2023 lineup includes four headliners that will rock the lobster in Pictou by the sea:

  • Sass Jordan: The Juno award-winning and multi-nominated singer-songwriter will kick off the carnival on Friday night with her signature raspy voice and hits like “Tell Somebody” and “Make You a Believer”.
  • Big Sugar: The reggae-blues rock band, led by Gordie Johnson, will headline Saturday night with their catchy songs like “Turn the Lights On”, “Diggin’ A Hole” and “All Hell for a Basement”.
  • Moon Minglewood Band: The legendary duo of Sam Moon and Matt Minglewood will reunite on Sunday for a special performance of their classic blues-rock tunes that span over five decades of collaboration.
  • Lennie Gallant: The Order of Canada recipient and folk icon will close out the carnival on Sunday night with his powerful and poetic songs like “Peter’s Dream” and “Which Way Does the River Run”.

In addition to these headliners, the main stage will also feature other talented artists such as Loviet, Hush, WHYGO, The Town Heroes, Fully Completely, Carson Fullerton, Heather’s Kitchen, DeeDee Austin and more. You can check out the full schedule here1.

Family Fun Activities

The carnival is not only about music, but also about fun and games for the whole family. You can enjoy some of these activities throughout the weekend:

  • Lobster Dinners: No carnival is complete without tasting some fresh and succulent lobster from the local waters. You can enjoy a lobster dinner at the Hector Arena or at one of the many restaurants in town that offer special menus for the occasion.
  • Mardi Gras Parade: One of the most colorful and festive events of the carnival is the Mardi Gras parade that takes place on Friday evening. You can watch or join the parade as it winds through the streets of Pictou with floats, costumes, music and candy.
  • Antique Car Show: If you are a fan of vintage vehicles, you will love the antique car show that takes place on Saturday afternoon. You can admire some of the classic cars that have been restored and preserved by their owners.
  • Lobster Boat Races: One of the most thrilling and competitive events of the carnival is the lobster boat races that take place on Sunday afternoon. You can watch or cheer as the local fishermen race their boats on the Pictou Harbour for glory and prizes.
  • Fireworks: The carnival ends with a bang on Sunday night with a spectacular fireworks display over the waterfront. You can watch the sky light up with dazzling colors and shapes as you bid farewell to another successful carnival.

These are just some of the many activities that you can enjoy at the Pictou Lobster Carnival. You can also try your luck at Hinchey’s Midway Rides & Games, join or watch the 10K Run for the Lobster, see some talented young songwriters at the Pictou County Youth Songwriter Showcase, witness some hilarious bed races and modified boat races, dance at the street dance or beer garden, see some cute kids at the children’s parade or pageant, or just stroll around town and soak up the carnival atmosphere.


The Pictou Lobster Carnival is one of the signature events in Nova Scotia that attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is a great way to celebrate the end of the lobster fishing season in Pictou County and to enjoy some of the best entertainment and food that Nova Scotia has to offer. Whether you are a music lover, a foodie, a thrill-seeker or a family person, you will find something to suit your taste and budget at the carnival. The 2023 lineup promises to be one of the best ever, so don’t miss this opportunity to rock the lobster in Pictou by the sea.