Canada’s 148th birthday is fast approaching and Sarnians who enjoy a good party and a big crowd won’t be disappointed, says Canada Day chairman Dan Tidball.
“The Canada Day committee has been putting it on for over 30 years, and we make sure we have everything there that people look forward to,” said Tidball who has headed the committee the past decade.
“It’s a lot of work for us but it’s worth it when you see the smiles after the fireworks are over. That’s what keeps me going,” he said.
The July 1 festivities kick off with the parade that leaves from Lakeshore and Colborne roads at 11:30 a.m. and ends inside Canatara Park. If it’s possible, there will be even more flag wavers than usual on the parade route since the theme this year is Canada’s flag, to recognize its 50th anniversary.
Eight groups from the local multicultural association will sell ethnic foods at Canatara throughout the afternoon. Opening ceremonies are at 1 p.m. in the bandshell by Lake Huron, and entertainment starts afterward with dancers, magicians, clowns, inflatables, birthday cake, music, a reptile show and more.
At 4:30 p.m. the party moves to Centennial Park, which is still fenced off in parts for remediation. All activities will take place at the bottom of London Road along the St. Clair River, said Tidball.
Three local bands including Miss Atomic Bomb, Whiskey Rain and Funk Eh will perform prior to the 10 p.m. fireworks.
With about 30,000 people attending annually, Sarnia enjoys one of the bigger Canada Day celebrations in Ontario.
The entire event is free-of-charge thanks to the committee’s fundraising efforts, a federal grant of about $20,000 and a grant from the city of $35,000.
For more on Canada Day, including a detailed entertainment lineup, please see pages 20 and 21 of this week's Journal in print in our website's "virtual paper."