Dildo, NL: Come One, Come All!

The southeastern Newfoundland fishing village of Dildo sits on Trinity Bay between Dildo Head and Spread Eagle Island. (Google ’em.) Sunlight on the ice floes floating down from Labrador glints off the white clapboard houses onshore, and the abandoned fish processing plant is just waiting to be converted into boutiques and local/sustainable eateries. For the time being, two bed-and-breakfasts and a coffee shop with a potbelly stove are action central for the tourist.

The village vibrates with charm, if not history. No one knows how it was named, though one theory holds that dildo was the word for the upright peg that held oars on fishing dories. Some locals have speculated that the town’s name has a Spanish origin of some sort, but evidence for this idea has yet to come forth. Around 1990, a handful of villagers campaigned to have the name changed to Baytona (shades of the sunny Florida coast!), but to no avail.

Dildo Day, the village’s annual festival, has a maritime thrust and draws thrill-seekers from far and wide. A flotilla of boat-floats cruises the bay, and perched on the flagboat is a grey-bearded effigy named Captain Dildo, resplendent in his yellow slicker.

Kountry Kravins ‘n’ Krafts (the aforementioned coffee shop), welcomes tourists with open arms and offers sandwiches, salads, and other eats. Also sold here are items and souvenirs ranging from sea leather wearables to candles to “I Survived Dildo Day”  T-shirts and caps. Just don’t go thinking you’ll find another kind of “souvenir” under the kounter. For that you may have to sail across Trinity Bay and shop around in Come By Chance (pop. 272).

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