It’s Canada Day, and all over the land people are celebrating the 145th birthday of the confederation. We’ve had a lot of spring rain in Kelowna, but today the sun came out, the weather warmed, and families flocked to the waterfront.
Tents went up. Food booths appeared. Crafters set out their wares. Families flocked to hear performers sing and dance and remind us of the increasing diversity of this land. Face painters turned small visages into masks of animals and superheroes. Silly hats and doggy costumes were everywhere.
I’ve put some photos on Facebook. You don’t have to be a member to see them. The woman in the photo above saw me with a camera and posed, which made both of us laugh. She and the others were staff of the Delta Grand Hotel. They celebrated Canada Day by following a piper in their own little parade.
The father and son sporting Canadian regalia and colours were taking in a tradition that acknowledges the valley’s agricultural heritage. Every year apple boxes are brought in. Families, youth groups, circles of friends gather to paint them bright colours in honour of Canada Day.
I’m a fan of these yearly celebrations. For 364 days of the year, Canadians are pretty quiet about how much they love this country. On July 1st we turn out by the thousands to be a little noisy about it.
We wear the maple leaf flag in as many ways as we can think of. We cheer for dancers in traditional costumes, who remind us of the multi-cultural nature of the communities we call home. We sing “O, Canada” and feel a swelling of pride.
When the sky is good and dark, we watch the fireworks explode over Lake Okanagan. It’s a satisfying end to a day when we can be a little noisy about Canada.
Happy 145th birthday, Canada.