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Canada Day, from parade to fireworks

Published on

Cathy Dobson

It’s been called our biggest and most enduring party.

Canada Day in Sarnia is celebrated by at least 10,000 people every year and considered one of the largest July 1 shindigs in the country.

From the first sign of the parade in the morning to the final blast of fireworks at night, Canada Day is a big deal here.

“We’re in Canatara Park, then transitioning to the waterfront (Centennial Park) around 4:30 p.m. where the MacLean Centre was,” said Rachel Veilleux, city liaison with the volunteer Canada Day Committee.

A large portion of Centennial Park remains cut off from the public while remediation takes place, but festivities are planned in the park’s south end.

New this year is a variety of entertainers after the bands play and before the fireworks. The Waterfront Drums with Mike Blackmore will perform between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. near the McPherson Fountain.  There will also be clowns, Zumba dancers and kids activities.

Last year, the focal point in Centennial was the Bayshore parking lot, but this year organizers want the fireworks crowd to form farther north in the park by the former MacLean’s Centre location where the stage is set up.

A clear view of the fireworks will be visible from there, said Veilleux.

Also new this year will be the sale of Canada Day T-shirts for $10 each. And the Canadian Cowgirls from Chatham are returning after several years to put on their equestrian show starting at 2:30 p.m. in Canatara Park.

The parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with at least 45 floats and bands, as well as the Shriner’s in their mini cars and a number of fire trucks.  This year’s theme is “Canada Proud.”

When the parade arrives in Canatara, ethnic food booths will be open, along with souvenir vendors, arts and crafts, inflatables and more.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. with the National Anthem and free cake. Multi cultural entertainment continues all afternoon at the bandshell.

In Centennial Park, four bands perform starting at 4:30 p.m. including Miss Atomic Bomb, Duane Gibson, The Gypsy Flatts and Rockridje.

Fireworks at 10 p.m.

For details about Canada Day events, accessible parking and $1 Sarnia Transit service, visit

The Arts Journal celebrates Sarnia’s multi-faceted cultural community.  Contact Cathy Dobson with your story ideas at [email protected] or 519-226-0985.

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