By David F. Rooney
It seem counterintuitive — after all Canada Day parties have traditionally been held at Queen Elizabeth Park — but this year’s party in the plaza has to be viewed as an unqualified success.
Organizers had planned on the plaza being completed in time for the event, but as anyone who has been downtown — or read The Revelstoke Current — knows that particular piece of real estate is still under construction. So they wondered if they would get the hundreds-strong turnout the annual parade and party has usually enjoyed.
They were not denied.
Despite the heat and the dust, the parade route was almost as crowded as in years past and the throng that gathered at the plaza was pretty formidable (Please go the photo page, Canada Day in Pictures to see what we mean).
The parade featured lots of kids: on bikes, on trucks and cars, on foot; as well as the activities and clubs that keep them busy.
And, of course, there were speeches, all of them mercifully short but thankfully bang on target.
“Ask anyone who wants to move to Canada… they’ll tell you it’s like winning the lottery,” said Master of Ceremonies Steve Bender.
That comment was echoed by Mayor Dave Raven who also apologized for the mess along Mackenzie Avenue and promised that “next year’s celebration will be three blocks longer.”
Following a cute song by Miss Revelstoke Ambassador Kirsten Miola and Mikayla Simpson, the crowd of upwards of 400 people was led in the traditional singing of O Canada, by local songstress Sharon Shook and the raising of the national flag. That was followed by a public viewing — and a very public devouring — of the absolutely fantastic cake that was baked this morning by Chalet bakers Sebastian Bucher and Michael Dopfer.
Musical entertainment was provided by the Revelstoke Community Band, Kiki the Eco Elf, and Steve Smith and the Maritime Kitchen Band. Pharmasave provided a Wheel of Fortune and Fish Pond for very, very young kids. There was a Dunk Tank, lots of food, a beer garden for the terminally thirsty, cotton candy, ice cream and all the usual activities — except Bocce — a story-telling tent and, in the evening, music by Danyluck & Card.
All in all it was a pretty good effort and MC Steve Bender publicly thanks organizers Crain McKee and Deenie Ottenbreit of the Chamber of Commerce for their many hours of hard work to organize the event.
This year’s sponsors were: the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 46, the TD Bank, CIBC, the Revelstoke Credit Union, the Knights of Pythias & DOKK, the Senior Citizens Assoc. of BC. Branch #83, Revelstoke Elks, the Knights of Columbus, CP Pensioners, the Shriners, Trees for Tots, Pharmasave, the Lion’s Club, the Revelstoke Highlanders Pipe Band, the Farmer’s Market, Revelstoke Community Band, Revelstoke Ambassador Program, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Moose Lodge, the Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club, the Italian Canadian Club, Sharon Shook, the Okanagan Regional Library, Rotary Club, Southside Foodmart, Roxy Theatre, Revelstoke Rotary Club and the Army Cadets.