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Published on June 28th, 2018 | by Guest Contributor

Five Great Ways to Celebrate Canada Day.

Canada Day. The first official long weekend of the summer. It’s the perfect time for celebrating the season with family and friends, enjoying a barbecue and some fireworks and marking the nation’s birthday, of course.

Small Town Parades, Concerts and Fireworks.

Wherever you live across this great country, there will be festivities going on. Cities and towns nationwide will be putting on parades, shows and fireworks displays. You can celebrate your community and get to know your neighbours at one of the many local street parties that will be taking place for Canada Day. There will be car shows and concerts, community barbecues and rib fests, street fairs and scavenger hunts and much more.

Here is a list of celebrations taking place in villages and towns north of Toronto.

The federal government website includes an interactive map of events across the country to help you find the some of the celebrations closest to you.

If the local events aren’t enough to satisfy your urge to party like a patriot, you can attend one of the mega, must-see events that happen on July 1 at hotspots across Southern Ontario. Here are four of the most spectacular:

Ottawa.

Needless to say, the nation’s capital puts on a show for Canada Day. Many of the city’s downtown streets close for the celebrations and Parliament Hill hosts the country’s largest birthday party on its lawn. The site will be bursting with fun-filled activities, games, bouncy castles and inflatable slides. The Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron will do a fly over and thrilling air show.

The crowds will also be entertained by live music from well-known and emerging artists from across Canada. This year’s celebration includes performances by the Arkells, Lights, The Dead South and DJ Shub, just to name a few.

The evening caps off at with a spectacular pyro-musical fireworks show at 10:00 p.m.

Toronto.

The country’s largest city knows how to throw a birthday bash. The roads around Queen’s Park close for a day-long street party that includes local and international foods, music and dance performances.

Historic Fort York hosts a free, daylong, all-ages celebration packed with family-friendly activities, demonstrations and performances. The Fort York Summer Guard dress in period uniforms from the early 1800s and perform demonstrations of musketry, artillery and music. Cooks will also demonstrate 19th century cooking methods and recipes in the historic kitchen, allowing visitors to taste what life must have been like for the Fort’s early inhabitants.

Then head over to Ashbridges Bay for the annual fireworks display held on the beach. The explosions in the sky are even more dazzling when reflected over the nighttime waters of Lake Ontario.

Canada’s Wonderland.

What better place to celebrate the country’s birthday than at its favourite playground? While a visit to Canada’s Wonderland is always a fun way to spend a summer day, July 1 takes it to a whole other level of fun, festivities and national pride.

This year, the park celebrates Canada with thrilling displays from the West Coast Lumberjacks, the Cirque Canadien, the Craz-E-Crew Stunt Team and the Flying Frontenac Divers. Wonderland’s bustling plazas and squares will be packed with live music, authentic Canadian food, street performers and more. The evening skies will be lit up by a spectacular fireworks display at sundown.

Oh, and there are rides. Lots and lots of rides. (So, maybe just don’t enjoy that beaver tail until after you’ve ridden the Leviathan.)

Niagara Falls.

On Canada Day, the town of Niagara Falls – which is always a festive destination – throws one of the largest celebrations in all of Ontario. There will be a parade, musical performances, an art show and an auto show featuring classic cars. Visitors can grab a slice of the free happy birthday, Canada cake. The kids can try out the rock climbing wall, inflatable castles and slides, mini-putt and even zip line.

The real reason that Niagara is such a choice spot for celebrating Canada Day, is the amazing fire works show exploding over the illuminated crashing waters of the falls. Colourful floodlights decorate the tumbling water as it spills over the crest of the falls and tumbles the 50 metres into the river below while the sky above is lit up by the stunning pyrotechnics. It’s something to see at least once.

Do you have a favourite spot for celebrating the first of July? Please let us know how you mark the country’s birthday.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

Snowbirds over Parliament Hill: Naimi Grondin

Local Canada Day Parade: Marty555 

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