By David F. Rooney
Canada Day is just four weeks away but this year’s celebration of the birth of our nation 143 years ago will be a little different.
For starters, the parade will begin at the Courthouse at 3 pm — not noon as in past years — and, because of all the construction by the high school, Queen Elizabeth Park has been nixed as the venue for the annual festivities. Instead, most of it will be held downtown between 3 pm and 10 pm.
Thematically, this will be a heritage-driven Canada Day. Why? Well, why not? There are a lot of historical anniversaries this year: 125 years since the founding of Farwell, 125 years since the establishment of Parks Canada, 125 years since the Last Spike was driven at Craigellachie and 115 years since the Chamber of Commerce was founded. Dig below the surface of community life and there are doubtless others, too.
The tentative lineup of events from the Canada Day Committee includes: a slow-pitch softball tourney (10 am); the traditional Bocce matches (1 pm); a strawberry tea (1-3); the parade (3-4); the unveiling of the sturgeon sculptures at Mackenzie and Third (4); the flag raising ceremony and the singing of O Canada by Sharon Shook at the Grizzly Plaza band shell (4:30); the Canada Day cake cutting (4:30); a badminton tournament at the Last Drop; street hockey at the Regent and Outabounds; a beer garden at Grizzly Plaza (3-10); food (3-10) from Scratch, Team Gloria and, possibly, Pings Wings; music by the Maritime Kitchen Band (3-6:30 pm) and It’s About Time (6:30-10).
There will also be tables from a variety of groups such as the Fair Trade Society, storytelling, unicyclists, stilt-walkers, face painting, games and other children’s activities on Mackenzie between First and Second Streets.
As everyone knows, Canada Day can often feature pretty hot weather, so the committee plans to ensure there will be plenty of shady spots and chairs for over-heated people downtown before, during and after the parade.
Many of these details will be firmed up in the coming weeks and some may change altogether, but this is — for now — what Canada Day will look like. So far, it’s shaping up to be quite a party.