Join the July 1st Fun, Eh?

Be part of the red and white brigade Sunday and celebrate our country’s birthday in fine Ottawa style. Wave a flag. Wear a temporary maple leaf tattoo or a festive T-shirt. Catch a beaver (just kidding…), have some poutine (to share) and, if there’s an opportunity, sing the national anthem –a la Lyndon Slewidge.

Can you really think of anywhere better to be on Canada Day than in the nation’s capital? Annually, the whole city comes alive with patriotic pride and festivities. This year’s revelry is going to be a blast.

After all, there’s everything to love about the July 1st holiday. For starters, it’s hot and sunny (which is really something when you’re from the Great White North) eh? The kids are finally finished school and summer is officially set to begin. In essence, though, this special day is our chance to show how much we love living in Canada, our home and native land.

All sorts of blockbuster events are on tap downtown, at Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park and Jacques-Cartier Park. From Petrie Island in Orleans to Stittsville, Kanata and Barrhaven, there are community celebrations too. Many local museums, as well as national and local attractions, are also hosting special activities.

If you’re planning to throw your own party or celebrate, family-style, at home, there’s lots of fun stuff you can do that will be a hit with kids of all ages.

  • Have a watermelon-eating contest.
  • Play mini sticks.
  • Play road hockey.
  • Divide into teams and have a water blaster battle. This is a big hit with most kids. Stock up on towels and soakers or ask guests to bring their own.
  • Get your tween or teen to be DJ and put together a selection of tunes by famous Canadian singers. Then hand around a microphone for karaoke or push the chairs back for dancing.
  • If you have a creative crowd, get the kids to put together a play based on something they’ve learned about Canadian history. While they’re busy coming up with a plot and lines and costumes, the grown-ups can enjoy some kid-free socializing.

For eats and treats, make it potluck. Barbecued chicken and kebabs, veggies and dips, salads, rolls and desserts are all you need. Greet your guests with sangria or strawberry daiquiris. At dark, if you don’t head elsewhere to see the community fireworks, get out the sparklers, your own fireworks and the fixings to make s’mores. It’s also a  great night for ghost stories – about Thomas D’Arcy McGee or Patrick James Whelan – around the fire pit.

Happy Canada Day!

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