The Town of Sylvan Lake is preparing to be the go-to spot in Central Alberta to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary this coming July.
The activities and events on this coming Canada Day will run the course of the entire day, from morning to the middle of the night.
Betty Osmond, CAO for the Town of Sylvan Lake and the Canada Day Coordinator with the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club expressed a great deal of excitement for this year’s festivities, saying “I’m excited. I want kids to remember Canada’s 150th the way I remember its 100th.”
This year, the Rotary Club has partnered with the Town to bring a gamut of events that will be taking place over the course of the day, from morning till dark. “It’s jam-packed, from morning until the fireworks,” said Osmond.
The morning of Canada Day will entail numerous family activities, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Rotary Club, involving a play area with large bouncy castles, face painting, glitter tattoos, flags, fake tattoos and food trucks.
Special Events Coordinator Michelle Houle stated a portion of the lakefront from 50-46 Street will be closed, to accommodate all the Rotary and Town events going on. “We want to make sure people can walk around without worrying about cars crossing, and things like that,” she explained. “It kind of expands the festival area, and gives more room for people to move.”
Also taking place that morning will be a charity race put on by the Sylvan Lake Sailing Club at 10 a.m. The race will feature seven sailboats performing in the race on the lake to raise money for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.
Throughout the day, MaKami College will be offering free massages later in the morning and throughout the day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. near the 46 Street intersection.
There will be plenty of musical entertainment happening, as well. The House of Music will be getting in on the festivities with a drop-in music class available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., giving anyone interested a crash course in how to play instruments like the ukulele, guitar, piano and drums.
To celebrate the auspicious event, H.J. Cody will hold a band and choir performance at 1 p.m., at the Municipal Government Building.
There will still be plenty to do as the morning progresses into the afternoon. The official flag raising ceremony and colour party will be happening at 1:45 p.m., just after the performance put on by H.J. Cody students.
It has been recommended that those in attendance wear their most patriotic reds and whites for the occasion.
From that point, a well-loved local tradition will commence – the March of Canadians will see residents marching downtown from the Municipal Government Building, to the pier. Participants are encouraged to decorate their bike or scooter and join in.
Osmond emphasized the march is not only a spectator event, and encourages everyone to participate.
“We have a marching band, the Legion and the RCMP involved – and everyone is involved to be in the march,” said Osmond. “You don’t only come to watch – you can come to participate, and if you wear red and white, that’s even better.”
Houle said the events put on this year by the Town will all be free, adding “there will be the traditional activities that people have come to love and expect. We took those, built and expanded upon them, to me this year’s event bigger and better.”
From 2-4 p.m. there will be another opportunity for local children to showcase their musical talent and for guests to possible win a door prize, with a kids’ karaoke event, at 4001 Lakeshore Drive.
If people celebrating in Sylvan Lake are hungry by 2:15 p.m., they are in luck – the Town of Sylvan Lake will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with the singing of Happy Birthday, and a giant cake in honour of the occasion.
Later in the afternoon, Rotary’s Great Duck Race at the Buk Wildz parking lot will be taking place, along with the beginning of the day’s Street Dance, set to the sounds of a DJ at the 49 Street intersection.
Things won’t be slowing down in the evening, either. There will be three hypnosis shows at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at a stage set up at the 49 Street intersection. Then, as dusk approaches, Lakeshore Drive will be illuminated by roving LED light and fire performances. Later, a more formal fire show will take place at the same stage at the 49 Street intersection, 10:45 p.m.
“The DJ street dance, the hypnosis show, and the roving LED and fire performances are all new,” said Houle. “It’s just something we worked on with Betty and Rotary, with the idea of expanding to a full day of activities.”
Houle said the LED light and fire performers will be “roving around Lakeshore Drive,” during the street festival, performing all around, adding “it won’t be a set performance. They’ll be just doing tricks here and there, so it should be pretty fun.”
“They’ll then do their big show onstage at 10:45,” added Houle, “So people can watch that, and they can stick around, because the musical fireworks will be right after that show.”
The festivities of Canada’s 150th will close as the skies darken, with a musical fireworks show at the pier, starting at 11 p.m.