POINT EDWARD, BRIGHT’S GROVE, SARNIA: The party starts this week
Point Edward is kicking off Canada Day events in our area this year with a celebration under the Bluewater Bridge on Thursday (June 22).
The village is preparing for about 1,000 to be in Waterfront Park between 4 p.m and 8 p.m., says special events organizer Shelley Archer.
“Everything is free,” she said. “Free pizza, free cupcakes, free snow cones, free face painting. It’s all free!”
The party features complimentary inflatables, a carnival maze, balloon twisting, live music with The Rhythm Junkies, and draws.
The village and a number of sponsors are making the event possible, including the Point Edward Optimists who contributed to the new Canada Day flags along Michigan Avenue’s commercial area.
Point Edward began holding its own Canada Day party in 2017, said Mayor Bev Hand. The idea is to hold it prior to any other community to ensure there’s no conflict.
This year Waterfront Park will be full of activities for the whole family after the pandemic put the party on pause for a couple of years.
New for 2023 is a decorating competition for local business, a mobile tennis court hosted by Tennis for Kids to encourage early interest in the sport, stilt walkers, and a free souvenir photo booth.
Village and Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) officials will give speeches at 5 p.m., and the free food will be served right after.
Canada Day in Bright’s Grove is up next
This Saturday, June 24, the Bright’s Grove Optimists are hosting Canada Day in Kenwick Park.
It starts off with a free Zumba fitness class at 9 a.m. in the park, followed by preparations in Wildwood Park for the annual parade. Children 12 and under are invited to decorate their bikes and join in. Be at Wildwood no later than 10:30 a.m. to leave for the one-kilometre parade to Kenwick Park at 11 a.m.
Note that road closures along the parade route will occur between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
From noon – 3 p.m., Kenwick Park will be full of kids rides, a barbecue and live music featuring The Celtic Hillbillies.
An outdoor concert and beer garden runs from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Bring your lawnchairs to enjoy the Geoff Masse Band.
Sarnia anticipates big party for Canada’s 156th year
Planning for the city’s signature event July 1 is in full swing, says Rachel Veilleux, community services co-ordinator for Sarnia.
After so many successful Canada Days split between Canatara Park and Centennial Park, the formula is very much the same, she said.
Notably, the parade has 34 entries this year and will start from Colborne Road at 11:30 a.m., winding down Lakeshore Road and arriving in Canatara Park about a half hour later.
At noon, the Lambton Concert Band performs at the bandshell by the beach, followed by opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. and multicultural dancers.
Entertainment in the field, including food vendors and the handmade market, will begin soon after and continue for the afternoon.
At 6 p.m., the festivities move over to Centennial Park where Atomic Hearts plays at Suncor Agora, followed by Rebound Rocks at 7:15 p.m. and Night Moves at 9 p.m.
The traditional Canada Day fireworks display is scheduled for 10 p.m. over Sarnia Bay.
“We’ve been working hard and it’s going well,” said Veilleux about the volunteer Canada Day committee putting it all together. “We’re a small group of five this year but we’re mighty.”
Further details will be available online at https://www.sarnia.ca/play/city-signature-events/canadaday/ starting today.