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Community celebrates Canada Day in the County after two years of cancellations

Story and photos by Olivia Timm

Dressed in their Canada Day attire, Lucy and Vanessa enjoyed outdoor family activities.

Clouds covered the Picton Fairgrounds but they didn’t rain on anybody’s parade for the first Canada Day celebrations since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Children laughing and running through the grounds decked out in face paint, Canada Day tattoos, the smells of delicious food wafting through the crowds and music flowing from the Crystal Palace all added to the nostalgia of typical Canada Day activities.

Julianne Snepsts, the municipality’s Community Programs Supervisor, said it was exciting to be able to see the community out together with smiling faces and Canada flags everywhere.

“It’s very exciting to see so many community groups, too. The police and the firefighters and the County’s recreation committees have all come together to make something joyful for the County and it’s been a long couple of years without this,” she added.

“So many people came out today and it was fun and exciting and challenging to put this event together. It was the first time we’ve done it in this space, in this context and in this way and I think it has been a tremendous success,” Snepsts said.

She explained that in consultation with the Picton Recreation Committee and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) – who are the traditional producers of Canada Day events with municipal support downtown Picton – discussed the options and resources available for the event this year.

“It was everyone’s preference to do it here – we already have so many wonderful buildings and assets here with the skate park and splash pad and Crystal Palace and so much more space that we could do so much more with what we had rather than handle the logistics that are needed to close the main street,” Snepsts explained.

The Bluebird Building welcomed groups of kids and adults alike for bookmark weaving and a paint pouring activities, led by staff from Bloomfield’s Baxter Arts Centre.

Music by Roper + Roper – who also sang O’Canada – and Caleb Hutton and Mark Despault filled the Crystal Palace throughout the afternoon.

Mayor Steve Ferguson thanked all of the community groups who collectively made the event possible as well as Come Alive Outside, Hart Entertainment and Mr. BaZinga’s Balloon Twisting for curating some of the activities.

“This is a special day and it’s great to see everyone here to celebrate our great country,” he said.

Wellington also held celebrations this year – beginning the day before with a street dance, food and children’s activities, and the popular community parade on Canada Day.

Firefighters grilled and served free hot dogs and hamburgers for the Canada Day crowd

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