Show Off Your Patriotic Pride on Canada Day

Adventure #50: Show Off Your Patriotic Pride on Canada Day.

Canada Day is the day when people all over the country sport red and white to celebrate their nation. In Burlington, it’s a day for residents to head down to the Waterfront to listen to music, see old friends, eat fun food and stroll along the promenade and pier.

The city’s Canada Day Celebrations have really evolved in the past decade. When we moved to Burlington ten years ago, the event at Spencer Smith Park featured mostly community groups both on stage and in information booths (there were few vendors). I remember thinking that it all seemed so quaint compared to the massive Sound of Music Festival in the same spot just weeks earlier.

Burlington Canada Day Celebrations sign

Today, the Canada Day Celebrations organized by the Burlington Events team expertly blend homespun charm with a level of variety and sophistication that residents have come to expect. Every year it keeps getting better! (Although I do miss the giant cake cutting).

The day began at 8:30 am with the Canada Day 5K sponsored by law firm Green Germann Sakran. This annual race starts at the pier, runs along the waterfront and turns back again to conclude where it started. Runners love this course for its fast, flat route and scenic beauty.

Before the main race was a 1 km fun run that saw the cutest kids dressed in red and white giving it all they got — many with mom or dad running alongside. Three girls won this race!

Burlington Canada Day 1k

This year, a field of 302 runners made for the largest race turn out ever. Last year’s race attracted closer to 200 participants.

Burlington Canada Day 5k

An hour later, the annual Citizenship Court hosted by the Mayor’s office began.

This year, the ceremony was held in a more scenic and intimate setting in front of the Spencer Smith Park gazebo (rather than on the large main stage where it’s been held in prior years).

Before the ceremony, I snapped this photo of a new Canadian sporting two competing national symbols — a Maple Leaf in his pocket and a Timmy’s in his hand.

New Canadian with a flag and a Tims

This beautiful family, dressed in their finest red and white, is emigrating from Britain to Canada.

A proud new Canadian family dressed in red and white

As the ceremony began, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer led Judge Salci and a line of dignitaries to their seats in the gazebo: MP Mike Wallace, MPP Jane McKenna, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring.

Burlington Canada Day citizenship court

The group recited the oath:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian.

Saying the oath

After reciting the Oath, each new citizen received their Certificate of Citizenship and a Canadian flag. Like every new Canadian, each of them also received a Cultural Access Pass that provides free admission to 1000+ of Canada’s cultural treasures for one year.

Mountie hands flag to new Canadian citizen

Fast forward a few hours and we went from seeing one famous red coat to another. At 1pm Burlington’s famous Teen Tour Band kicked off the day’s opening ceremony by marching the length of the promenade and playing a stand still performance in front of the main stage.

Burlington Teen Tour Band

To me, there’s no better sight in Burlington than our musical ambassadors marching along our beautiful waterfront.

Burlington Teen Tour Band march the promenade

The Teen Tour tubas

The children’s area was bigger and better this year, located behind the Waterfront Hotel.

Canada Day Kids Zone

The Burlington Events team was on hand to apply temporary Canada tattoos. There was a fun craft to create a personalized visor too.

I Love Canada tattoo

Momstown Burlington was present again with a kids craft station and this humorous photo stand in.

I Stand on Guard for Thee

In the area near the Naval Veterans Memorial and the gazebo,the Scholars in Collars dog training show was presented a number of times throughout the day. This location attracted the largest crowds I have seen for this event which has been part of the Canada Day festivities viagra adverse effects for many years.

dog-show-audience

The show culminated in dog after dog leaping a series of progressively higher jumps until ultimately catapulting high in the air over ten bars.

Scholars in Collars Dog Show

This bulldog, the last dog to try, couldn’t quite make it and provided the perfect laugh to cap off the performance.

Scholars in Collars bulldog

Throughout the day, Burlington Events staff handed out free Canadian flags and pins.

Handing out free flags

Near the main stage, Symphony on the Bay had a Hands On Violins booth featuring instruments of every size for both kids and adults to try. Later in the evening, Symphony on the Bay would provide an “explosive” performance to accompany the fireworks display.

Trying the violin thanks to Symphony on the Bay

It was time for lunch! Earlier in the week we had purchased tickets to the exclusive Canadiana tent. What a deal! For an advance purchase price of $20 we received a catered meal, two beverages (including beer and wine) and access to preferred seating. We had a good view of the main stage entertainment while seated at linen covered tables and we had access to the bleachers for watching the water ski show and fireworks. We’ll do this every year!

Niche Catering provided the meal that included traditional hot roast beef on a bun, a selection of six picnic salads and fresh fruit.

Canadiana Viewing Area food

Jr Burlington was so excited when a family at an adjoining table gave him this umbrella hat and maple leaf sunglasses. Rain threatened a few times throughout the day and he just kept saying that he was ready for it with his new hat!

Dressed up for Canada Day

After eating, we took our seats on the bleachers to wait for the water ski show to start. I realized that this was a great day for people watching. So many passersby were dressed from head to toe in red and white and it was fascinating to see the patriotic fashion choices on display.

People watching

I love the grass and rocky area at the entrance to the new pier. On an ordinary day it provides a place to picnic, sunbathe or watch the water. Today, however, it was the perfect place to watch the SWS Water Ski Show taking off from the mini beach below.

Waterski show crowd

With the iconic Burlington Bay Skyway in the background, a collection of skilled water skiers impressed with a variety of skills and stunts.

The lake was choppy and I was afraid the show may not happen, but these guys and gals braved the waves and put on quite the spectacle. I’d love to see this event return to Canada Day year after year because it is such an out-of-the-ordinary way to take advantage of our incredible waterfront promenade and pier.

Canada Day waterski show

These young ladies from Australia perform at Sea World down under during our winter (their summer) and come to Canada in July and August to perform throughout Muskoka and across Ontario.

Waterki Show on Lake Ontario

This skier demonstrates the water ski hydrofoil that ‘flies’ above the water surface and generally avoids contact with it. In choppy water conditions like we saw on Canada Day, the ride remains largely unaffected and is relatively smooth.Waterski show

As the water ski show concluded, Bob Cowan and Nicola Jones from CHCH TV took to the stage to introduce the day’s headline performer, Hawksley Workman.

CHCH hosted the afternoon main stage

Hawksley Workman

After a few songs, we decided to head to the other end of the park. Here’s the sea of red and white that we ‘swam’ through!

Canada Day crowds

Along the way 100 milligram viagra we ran into these Stilt Walking Team Canada Buskers. And this was a first! Our 50th adventure saw our first “photo bomb” with a very enthusiastic wave from the Costco table in the rear.Team Canada buskers

There was lots to look at throughout the grounds. Tents were set up by local politicians as well as community groups like the Burlington Public Library.

Burlington Public Library

A row of vendors lined the promenade peddling their wares.Vendors along the Naval Veterans Promenade

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dusk, much of the crowd had dispersed for dinner and then returned en masse for the culmination of the days events, a concert by Symphony on dosage cialis 20 mg the Bay and the fireworks spectacular over the pier.

Crowd for Symphony on the Bay

Mayor Goldring introduced Conductor and Music Director Maestro James McKay and the volunteer symphony orchestra. When he mentioned that this group now calls our Burlington Performing Arts Centre home, a cheer erupted from the crowd.

Mayor Goldring introduces Symphony on the Bay

The first 30 minutes of the concert was devoted to playing a suite of music from Star Wars, composed by the legendary John Williams. This music selection was brilliant, I think, because it was accessible to people of all ages. There were hundreds of children in the audience, and I noticed most listening intently to the familiar film score.

Symphony on the Bay performs

Towards the 10 o’clock viagra long term side effects hour we made our way over to the bleachers within the Canadiana tent and viewing area. The seats provided a perfect view of the pier from which the fireworks were launched.

Canadiana Viewing Area seating

I loved how the fireworks encompassed the entire pier, using it as a set piece for the show. We’ve waited so long for this!

At one point, a row of sparkler fireworks encircled the viewing platform.

Canada Day fireworks on the pier

Later, it seemed like the entire pier was engulfed in fireworks of every colour, shape and size.

Brant Street Pier fireworks

The crowed oohed and awed whenever the night sky would light up with big bursts.

Fireworks along Spencer Smith Park Promenade

In the distance we could see impressive displays set off simultaneously in Hamilton and far, far across the lake somewhere in Niagara.

Canada Day fireworks

Thanks to Burlington Events and everyone else involved in making this once-a-year celebration so memorable. Canadians are often a reserved bunch but, on July 1st, we let our patriotic pride shine brightly and it feels good!

Did you celebrate Canada Day down at the park, up at the cottage or by doing something even more adventurous? Fill us in on the fun you had.

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