Sussex, New Brunswick

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Downtown Sussex
Downtown Sussex
Official seal of Sussex
Nickname(s): Cow Town, Dairy Town
Motto(s): Gateway to the Fundy Experience
Sussex is located in New Brunswick
Coordinates: 45°43′25″N 65°30′39″W / 45.72364°N 65.51083°W / 45.72364; -65.51083
Country Canada
Province New Brunswick
County Kings County
Parish Sussex Parish
Incorporated January 1903
 • Type Town Council
 • Mayor Marc Thorne
 • Deputy Mayor Ralph Carr
 • Councillors Bridget Ryan
Jane Boyle
Tim Wilson
Eric Nelson
Graham Milner
Deborah Armitage
 • Total 9.03 km2 (3.49 sq mi)
Elevation 18 to 124 m (59 to 406.8 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 4,312
 • Density 477.4/km2 (1,236/sq mi)
Time zone Atlantic (AST) (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST)


-3 (UTC)
Canadian Postal code E4E
Area code(s) 506
Telephone Exchange 432, 433, 434, 435, 512, 944
NTS Map 021H12

Sussex (2011 population: 4,312)[2] is a Canadian town in Kings County, New Brunswick.

Sussex straddles the Kennebecasis River, 70 km (43 mi) northeast of Saint John, and is a major dairy products producer in the province. It is home to Atlantic Canada's largest hot air balloon festival. Sussex is also known as Cow Town, Suss Town, Dairy Town or the Mural Capitol of Atlantic Canada.

The Town of Sussex is located in south central New Brunswick, Canada, strategically between the province's three largest cities; Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. Sussex has a great deal to offer individuals and families who like small town charm with all the amenities and services of a larger centre. [3]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1901 1,398 —    
1911 1,906 +36.3%
1921 2,198 +15.3%
1931 2,252 +2.5%
1941 3,027 +34.4%
1951 3,224 +6.5%
1961 3,457 +7.2%
1981 3,972 +14.9%
1986 4,114 +3.6%
1991 4,132 +0.4%
1996 4,293 +3.9%
2001 4,182 −2.6%
2006 4,241 +1.4%
2011 4,312 +1.7%

In 1857 the European and North American Railway was opened, connecting the farming communities of the Kennebecasis River valley with Saint John and Moncton. Sussex was incorporated in 1895 but was only officially established as a town on April 29, 1903. The settlers were for the most part British Loyalists who had fled the American Revolution in 1776, with many Irish refugees of the potato famine from the mid-19th century settling in the nearby farming communities.

In 1885, the Sussex Military Camp was established on the eastern edge of the town. The facility was closed following the Second World War and the town purchased the land to expand the municipal boundaries. Today the agricultural exhibition and some areas remain as open land on the former site of Camp Sussex.

Sussex underwent several changes in the post-war period. In the early 1960s, several local roads were upgraded as part of the Trans-Canada Highway project which saw Route 2 pass immediately north of the town between Fredericton and Moncton. At the same time, a series of local roads in the Kennebecasis River valley were designated as Route 1, running from an interchange with the Trans-Canada at Sussex, southwest to Saint John.

The creation of Sussex as a highway interchange in this post-war period led to some transportation planners in New Brunswick calling for the consolidation or closure of the Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton airports to be replaced by a single airport located in Sussex to serve all three population centres of southern New Brunswick; this being in the late 1950s/early 1960s before these facilities underwent considerable expansion. Sussex is still considered the best strategically located town, being in the center of what has been called New Brunswick's "Golden Triangle".

Potash was subsequently discovered in large quantities in the area surrounding Sussex, with the deposit being the second largest in the world after an area in Saskatchewan. Three mines were built near the town, two at Penobsquis, 8 km (5.0 mi) to the east, and another at Cassidy Lake (no longer operational), 10 km (6.2 mi) to the southwest. CN Rail built track to serve both mines, which employed hundreds from the surrounding area. Since 2003, natural gas has been produced from the McCully field near Sussex.[4]

The former CN rail station in Sussex now houses the 8th Canadian Hussars Museum and Sullys ice cream parlor

Sussex also began to see a growing tourism trade, with many flocking to see the collection of wood-constructed covered bridges throughout the central area of Kings County. As the heart of Kings County with its 16 covered bridges, Sussex is also known as the Covered Bridge Capital of Atlantic Canada. Eight of these wonderful wooden structures are within a ten-minute drive of town hall. In addition, an agricultural fair draws visitors each August (marking 113 years in 2008), as well as the establishment of southern New Brunswick's only alpine ski hill in the Caledonia Mountains southeast of the town at Poley Mountain. Twenty-six murals were created during the summers of 2006 and 2007, establishing its reputation as the Mural Capital of Atlantic Canada. There is also a very popular international hot air balloon festival in Sussex held every September, and Canada's largest outdoor flea market each August.

The town entered economic difficulty during the late 1990s after the Cassidy Lake potash mine flooded, resulting in hundreds of lay-offs. Another significant blow came in October 2002 with a realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2) between Fredericton and Moncton which no longer passed through Sussex, instead carrying the province's east-west interprovincial traffic 30 km (19 mi) north of the town. At the same time, Route 1 was extended east on the old Trans-Canada alignment to an interchange at River Glade near Petitcodiac and Route 10 was extended on the old Trans-Canada from an interchange with the new Route 2 alignment at Young's Cove Road south to Sussex.

Today, Sussex is primarily a regional service centre for the surrounding agricultural communities of the upper Kennebecasis River valley, as well as a highway service centre on Route 1, the primary highway between Moncton and Saint John, as well as being the most heavily travelled route in the Maritimes to the United States. Sussex is also home to Kingswood University (formerly Bethany Bible College), the only college in Canada owned by the Wesleyan Church.

The town is home to Sussex Golden Ginger Ale, a popular maritime beverage. At one point, Sussex claimed to be the birthplace of the ice cream cone, though the Kings County Record recently proved this claim to be false.[citation needed] Sussex titles itself as the Dairy Capital of New Brunswick.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the town as part of her Golden Jubilee tour of Canada. On October 12, 2002, she attended the opening of a new wing of Sussex Elementary School, unveiling a commemorative plaque at the event. She then visited Princess Louise Park for an agricultural exhibition. While there, it was announced that the community hall would be renamed Jubilee Hall in her honour. Both appearances drew thousands of visitors from Sussex and beyond.[5]


Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta[edit]

Hot air balloon in Sussex valley.

The largest hot air balloon festival in Atlantic Canada is held each summer in Sussex. On the weekend after Labour Day, Sussex hosts up to 35,000 visitors who come to watch 40 hot air balloons. Along with the twice-daily flights, there is something for everyone at the festival, including a giant craft fair, a free outdoor concert and an amusement park. the festival has been held since 1985. [6]

This fantastic and colourful extravaganza is worth the drive, habitants of Sussex often wake up early to get a look at all the beautiful balloons. It is not un heard of to go "Balloon Chasing" and assist in the taking down of balloons.

Princess Louise Park Show Centre Inc.[edit]

The Princess Louise Park Show Centre Inc. is Eastern Canada’s premier Agricultural Exhibition Center. Located in Sussex, New Brunswick, this facility is the host of many shows that include equine, dogs, livestock, sales and exhibitions as well as 4h and youth group activities. It is known as the heart of Canada’s picture province (New Brunswick). Princess Louise Park Show Centre is a board owned and operated exhibition ground that was founded in 1985. It is located in Sussex, New Brunswick and is host to many livestock shows attracting people from all over the county, province, and country. There are many owners and sponsors of this facility, a summer staff and a year-round general manager. There is also an alternate purpose for the facility during the winter months; it doubles as a storage facility for RVs and trailers. There are 5 barns with stalls in each of them and 3 riding rings. There are electrical hook ups and sewage hook ups. This facility is one of the most advanced exhibition grounds in Atlantic Canada. [7]


This facility came to be in 1985 when the Department of National Defence (DND) site was terminated. The town of Sussex took over the land that the DND was on and when they were approached by the Town of Sussex, there was a plan made to develop a plot of land that would host animal and livestock related activities.

Construction of the first barn started in 1999 and the arena was opened in June of 2000. This was done in time for the RCMP Musical Ride. There was assistance received from the Town of Sussex, the New Brunswick Departments of Labour and Agriculture Fisheries and Aquaculture, ACOA, the BDP non-commercial program, Development Assistance Program, corporate and individual supporters, and countless hours of in-kind labour donated by volunteers, the Town of Sussex, members of the Sussex Fire Department, RCMP, local service groups, and 4h clubs.

With the harsh weather hitting Sussex in the Winter time, there was a second phase of the project put into planning. In 2004, there was an enclosed arena and 3 other barns built. When this facility was finished, bookings started to increase and the season was extended from late April through to the end of October.

By 2007, the Show Centre had contributed over $10 million to the economy of the Sussex area and Kings County, New Brunswick. Since then, there has been a fifth barn built along with an outdoor arena. This barn not only gives more space to exhibit and the ability to have more than one show going on at once, but it also gives more space for storage of RVs and trailers in the winter time, in turn increasing the profit of the facility.

Princess Louise Park Show Centre Facility consists of:

4 barns – 24’ x 200’ (#’s 1, 2, 3, 4) surrounding an indoor lighted arena – 89’ x 200’ that has washrooms, showers, show office/meeting space and bleachers.    

1-barn- 48 x 220 (#5)

An outdoor ring 150’ x 250’ beside barn 5

An outdoor warm up ring 75’ x 150’ at the end of barn 3 and barn 2

The Ronnie Wilkins Memorial Cattle Penning coral – 100’ x 200’ is available for warm up on days there is no cattle penning event. Cattle penning has priority on the coral.

The purpose of the Barn 5 and the outdoor ring expansion was to enable 2 separate events to be held at the same time or to accommodate events that do not have enough space in barn’s 1 to 4 and indoor arena.

Users renting space in barn’s 1- 4 have use of the indoor arena

Users renting space in barn 5 have use of the outdoor ring.

Users of the indoor arena may rent the outdoor ring to complement their event providing Barn 5 and/or the outside ring is not rented for another event.

Users of Barn 5 and the outdoor ring may rent the indoor arena providing there is no other event during that time.

Users of the outdoor ring may opt to rent stalls in Barn 2 instead of Barn 5 if space is available in that barn. If more stall space is required than available in Barn 2, additional stalls, pending availability, would be available at the appropriate stall price for the building the additional stalls were available.

Users of the facility that utilize barns 1 to 4 and barn 5 at more than the minimum charge for each will have access to the inside arena and the outdoor ring.[7]


Equine Review

MQHA Equine Review is an annual Equestrian event that brings together the Maritime Province's to celebrate, educate, compete and shop under one roof. Multiple vendors, services, breed clubs, clinics and competitions are packed into two days of non-stop action. This event is open to the public at an admission charge of $5.00...this fee allows you to audit all clinics. The Maritime Quarter Horse Association is your Host of this great event along with many amazing sponsors that make it possible to bring to our event top clinicians from the USA and Local.

Robin Groves Clinic (

Robin Groves, two time US National Singles Champion, is available for clinics around the country.

Group or private lessons with evening discussions can be arranged. Robin is available for clinics year-round for one or several days duration. Lessons can include riders and drivers in a group, private or semi-private format.

Material covered may include long lining and longing with discussions on nutrition, conditioning and fitness. Robin will help you determine a training program for you and your horse or pony. [8]


The New Brunswick/PEI Barrel Horse Association (NPBHA), formed in 2007 to promote and standardize gymkhana competition in New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island, and to ensure safety, fun, and skill development through all levels of competition. Here you will find friendly competition, make lasting friendships, and have the opportunity to compete in one of the most exciting of equestrian sports.

In 2014 the NPBHA paid out prize money in 5 events, in a 3D (divisional) format, enabling horses and riders of all levels to take home $$. High Point Youth awards were presented at each race as well. 2013 also saw our third annual Kelti Burnett All Youth Speed Demons Day which was a great success. 

Many great Year End awards are presented every fall for Small Fry (children 10 & under), Youth, and 3D Barrels and Poles. If you are interested in Western Speed events, join this exciting, fast-growing club as we move into our 8th year. We feature the lowest membership fees in Canada @ $20.00 single or $25.00 family. Membership application forms can be found right here on the website! All are welcome, from novice horse owners to experienced competitors - there is a place for you in the NPBHA. Come join our NPBHA family and see what the fun is all about! [9]

Dressage NB

Twenty-five years ago, there was no organized dressage in New Brunswick. There were small pockets of enthusiasts putting on and attending clinics, but there were no competitions or uniting association.

In 1988, one individual worked with CADORA National (Canadian Dressage Owners and Riders Association) and established the first CADORA local branch, named “New Brunswick CADORA” at the time. Later, a second branch was started in the Saint John area called “Fundy CADORA.” NB CADORA eventually changed its name to “Valley CADORA”. Both groups were affiliated with the National organization and with the Provincial Sport Organization, the New Brunswick Equestrian Association.

For several years, the CADORA groups organized and held dressage competitions. All were held under the auspices of the national federation, then called the Canadian Equestrian Federation. The CADORAs also held clinics and seminars. They sent a representative who became a vocal contributor on the CADORA National Board of Directors, and who played a part in creating the Quadrennial Program Plan for Dressage in Canada in the late ‘80s.

After some years, the CADORA groups became weaker and Valley CADORA disbanded. Meanwhile, the national organization was also losing support. A new, stronger national organization was formed, called Dressage Canada. Shortly afterward, some members of the waning Saint John CADORA decided to re-form as Dressage New Brunswick.

Since that time, the faces on the Board of Directors for DNB have changed, but the mission has become ever more focused and successful.

DNB is now a truly province-wide organization, overseeing and coordinating dressage activities and competitions in all active centers throughout New Brunswick. The Board of Directors has representatives from across the province. It remains affiliate with the NBEA and Dressage Canada. The current DNB Board has been instrumental in directly providing Bronze and Gold competitions for the past several years, as well as organizing clinics and other learning opportunities.

The competition scene in New Brunswick has never been more active, organized, and supported. Riders from the most basic levels all the way to Grand Prix are able to train and compete in the province. The EC Gold competitions are heavily attended, with three shows having to expand from two days to three in 2012.

In twenty-five years’ time, dressage in the province has gone from a handful of enthusiasts to a comprehensive network of coaches, venues, and competitions that have allowed riders to progress to the highest levels. We now have certified Level II dressage coaches in province, as well as specialized dressage stewards and dressage judges building their qualifications.

New Brunswick can boast about home-grown riders who have competed to the highest international levels. Michelle DeGarie represented Canada at the North American competitions at the Young Rider level in 2002. Denielle Gallagher-LeGriffon was short-listed for the 2008 Olympic Team, while later that year, Alexie Dunnett represented our country at the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational, winning the B division.

These and other New Brunswick riders have competed successfully in international company in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and the Eastern United States from New York State to Chicago to Florida. In 2012, a provincial team was formed for the first time to compete at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships in Bromont, Quebec, and brought home individual bronze and silver medals and came away victorious with team gold. [10]

Regional Dog Agility

Agility is a challenge and a competition. To be enjoyed by handler, dog and spectator. The main elements of the sport are good sportsmanship and fun for the dogs and handler.

AAC Agility Trials are open to all four legged dogs capable of demonstrating the element of agility and control and the mental and physical ability to carry out the required tests. [11]

Codiac Reiners

To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. [12]


The Maritime Quarter Horse Association is a group of people who trail ride, train, breed, show, and promote the Quarter Horse breed. Membership is open to everyone; you don’t have to own a horse.

Benefits of becoming an MQHA member:

  • Receive our “Journal"
  • Participate in our futurities
  • Accumulate show points
  • Receive awards and recognition
  • AQHA Ride Program
  • Youth Association
  • Annual Banquet
  • Annual General Meetings
  • Website

Our show facility is the Princess Louise Park Show Centre which offers a huge covered arena, several practice pens, spacious box stalls, camper hook-ups with electricity and water, plenty of viewing stands, on-site tack shops, on-site refreshments – all nestled in the picturesque town of Sussex, New Brunswick. [13]

Kings County Agricultural Fair

View delicate handcrafted items while marveling at the best flowers and vegetables from local gardens. 4-H members exhibit their cattle and horses as we celebrate the region's proud agricultural heritage. [14]

Fair entry forms are available at the NB Agricultural Office (behind the old courthouse), Main Street, Sussex.

Unless otherwise stated, all events take place in the main ring of the Princess Louise Park Show Centre, Leonard Drive, Sussex (directly behind the arena). Schedule is subject to change without notice. A canteen will be available at various times. 

The Kings County Agricultural Fair is a proud tradition in Sussex. Come and see Canada's longest running exhibition of agricultural pride and skill! 


4-H Shows and events

Lumberjack Show


4-H Shows and events

Southern District 4H Parade and awards followed by Hooves N Hearts and Sussex Tail Waggers show


Open dairy show

Peewee show

Women's Institute Food and craft display, Jubilee Hall

Horse pull


Women's Institute Food and craft displays, Jubilee Hall [14]

New Brunswick Percheron Club [15]

New Brunswick 4H Provincial Show

4-H began in Sussex, New Brunswick in 1916. Join us to celebrate 100 years of 4-H in our beautiful province! [16] Each year, the New Brunswick 4H Provincial show is held at Princess Louise Park.

Sussex Regional High School[edit]

Sussex Regional High School is a Canadian secondary school that serves students from grades 9 to 12 in Sussex, New Brunswick. The High School has a capacity of 800 and houses industrial, science and business labs, also a theatre, library, gymnasium and soccer pitch. Facilities are shared with community groups for a nominal rental fee. [3]


Most people in Sussex have some Scottish, French, English, or Irish ancestry. There are smaller groups of German and Dutch lineage, and very few Mi'kmaq, East Europeans, Asians, and African-Canadians. The town is almost universally anglophone, being in the heart of English-speaking southern New Brunswick.


Climate data for Sussex, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1897–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
Average high °C (°F) −2.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −8.5
Average low °C (°F) −14.0
Record low °C (°F) −44.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 108.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 44.3
Average snowfall cm (inches) 64.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 11.4 9.9 11.9 12.7 13.8 12.8 11.0 10.3 10.7 12.9 14.3 12.5 144.1
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.4 4.8 7.0 10.4 13.7 12.8 11.0 10.3 10.7 12.9 12.4 7.0 117.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 8.4 6.6 6.5 3.4 0.40 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.08 3.0 6.8 35.2
Source: Environment Canada[17][18][19]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. (2006) Sussex Community Profile
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Town of Sussex, NB - Town of Sussex". Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  4. ^ Corridor Resources Inc., McCully Field, Accessed 11-Aug-2010.
  5. ^ Government of New Brunswick. IGA
  6. ^ Town of Sussex
  7. ^ a b "Home | PLP Show Centre". PLP Show Centre. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  8. ^ "Equine Review". Maritime Quarter Horse Association. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  9. ^ "NPBHA". Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  10. ^ "About DNB". Dressage New Brunswick. 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  11. ^ "Home Page |". Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  12. ^ "Reining Club and Stable News - Maritime Reiner". Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  13. ^ "About us". Maritime Quarter Horse Association. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  14. ^ a b "Kings County Agricultural Fair". Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  15. ^ "Home". NB PERCHERON CLUB. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  16. ^ "New Brunswick 4-H Council Ltd". New Brunswick 4-H Council Ltd. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  17. ^ "Sussex, new Brunswick". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Daily Data Report for December 2008". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "Daily Data Report for February 2016". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°43′N 65°31′W / 45.717°N 65.517°W / 45.717; -65.517 (Sussex)