Unique Canada Day Celebrations Across Canada - Refresh Financial

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Unique Canada Day Celebrations Across Canada

Steveston Salmon Festival - Canada Day

Photo: Steveston Salmon Festival Facebook Page

I grew up in a small fishing village on the left coast of Canada, just outside of Vancouver. It was in the little Island town known as Richmond, and it was called Steveston. Every year, leading up to Canada Day, all the kids in the neighbourhood would buy up all the streamers and crepe paper from the local shops and decorate their bikes. When Canada Day finally rolled around, we’d all hop in the parade that tiptoed slowly down Moncton Ave, waving at friends and neighbours, family and classmates. The sounds of bagpipes would ring out as the parade would come to a halt and the true celebrations began. The midway would open up, with brightly coloured rides and travelling carnies yelling about winning prizes if you’d just play their game. We’d beg our moms and dads for pocket money and spend it on ride tickets, cotton candy, beaver tails and skeeball. They didn’t mind, because that rich grilling aroma that wafted through the crowds was salmon, and our folks would sit there while we ran from ride to ride, enjoying seconds, thirds and fourths of the biggest salmon barbeque in all of Canada. 1200 pounds of salmon would be consumed before the end of the day, and as dusk fell, we’d all walk with crisp, sun kissed skin, and our bellies full of fish, to the banks of the Fraser River and watch the sky light up with fireworks.

That’s the annual Steveston Salmon Festival, where salmon was the guest of honour in a celebration of our nation’s confederation. This unique celebration I looked forward to every year, had me wondering what other unique or notable Canada Day celebrations happen across our country.

Each year, Regina hosts Western Canada’s Strongman competition which always draws a huge crowd. Where else are you going to see mortal men dragging vehicles and lifting barbells the size of small villages? But that’s not all you get to see if you celebrate in Regina, Saskatchewan. There’s also a pancake breakfast, a 21 gun salute, a living Canada flag made of flowers, a plywood boat race, and tons and tons of great, Canadian music.

More info: reginacanadaday.ca

Old Port Montreal boasts a Canada Day celebration that features a ton of unique activities, sights, sounds, food and fun. To start with, each year a massive Canada Day Cake is presented and handed out to attendees, with special attention to our newest Canadians. There is also a real life canon salute and an inflatable village that’ll put your festival’s bouncy castle to shame! If you’re in Montreal this year for Canada Day, be sure to stop on by Old Port.

More info: canadadaymontreal.org

North Rustico on Prince Edward Island is a small fishing community, just like my hometown, and each year the lobster boats invite guests on deck to tour the North Rustico Harbour. Later, the town cheers on as contestants compete in a pie eating contest. I think I’d avoid that. Gotta leave room for some Atlantic Lobster. Islanders list this celebration as their favourite across all of P.E.I.

More info: festivalspei.com

Fort Langley, B.C. kicks off Canada Day with a book festival, celebrating Fraser Valley writers, books, libraries and everything to do with the written word. It’s followed by free performances of Shakespeare plays (this year, the Taming of The Shrew). Loads more historic and cultural performances make this one of the best celebrations across B.C.

More info: celebratecanadaday.ca

Quadra Island, in British Columbia is home to the little village of Cape Mudge, where onlookers gather every Canada Day to welcome home the traditional Tribal Journeys canoes. These canoes, which had been travelling the coast, are welcomed home with a huge feast and tons of celebrations. The festival also features elder storytelling and tours of the site where Captain Vancouver landed. Among one of the most interesting Canada Day celebrations I have ever heard of, it sounds truly bohemian and enjoyable.

More info: thescribes.ca

Black Creek Pioneer Village in Ontario will take you right back to the 1860s on Canada Day. You’ll celebrate like they did on that first Dominion Day, back when our nation was born. You’ll be invited to learn about what life was like for immigrants to Canada way back when, and then witness a citizenship ceremony with new Canadian citizens. You can also enjoy the horse-drawn carriage rides and the many games, foods and cultural displays.

More info: blackcreek.ca

What are some Canada Day traditions in your home town? Let us know in the comments!

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