New Brunswick — While beachgoers steer clear of the normally popular Parlee Beach due to its consistent water quality issues, other swimming areas in the province are seeing record numbers of visitors.
“It’s so nice to be able to come somewhere to swim that doesn’t smell like poop,” cheered Saint John resident Thelma Harding. “Like, I’m on vacation and I don’t want anything to remind me of my hometown, Saint John — and that’s what the smell of Parlee Beach does.”
Aboiteau Beach, just a short drive from Parlee, is probably seeing the largest increase.
“We’re getting a huge influx of swimmers this year,” said Joey Manderson, a lifeguard at the beach. “It’s been bittersweet for me, personally. One the one hand, it’s nice to see the beach do well and it’s brought a bunch more people to Cap-Pelé, which is great for local business. But on the other hand, it’s meant I’ve had to do more than put white stuff on my nose and sleep in the sun all day long — a catch 22, right?”
The Manatee spoke with John Ames, whom we’d actually never even heard of before we Googled to find out who the New Brunswick Tourism minister was, and he said that many swimming locations are booming this summer because of Parlee’s problems.
“Beaches, rivers, lakes, ponds and public swimming pools are all seeing more overweight people in bathing suits than ever before,” he said. “Its been great to see — well not to actually see, but you know what I mean.”
Our reporter hit the sands of Kilarney Lake, a popular destination on the outskirts of Fredericton, to ask the public if they were purposely steering clear of Parlee.
“Yeah, I’ll probably never go back to that place,” said Jennifer Jackson. “I’ve been seeking a new place to swim all summer, searching all over New Brunswick. So far, my favourite spot has been my neighbour’s backyard pool when he’s out of town — but there’s been some decent beaches, too.”
Ames told our reporter that although the province is disappointed with all the negative press surrounding Parlee Beach, it’s also happy to see more New Brunswick beaches being explored.
“It’s great that people are getting out and seeing more of this beautiful province,” he continued. “It’s important for people to know that not all of our tourist locations are contaminated with a dangerous amount of feces — and neither are our people.”