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8 Canada Day events to show your red and white spirit

Boy watching a Canada Day parade. Photo by AnjelikaGr/Shutterstock.com

The pandemic may have made many Canada Day events virtual for the last couple of years, but cottage country is not holding back on the celebrations now. From children’s games and activities to musical performances, beer gardens, and community traditions, there is something everyone can enjoy on July 1. 

Huntsville 

If you’re in Huntsville, celebrate Canada Day at Muskoka Heritage Place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets range from $13.15-$19.40, but admission is free from 9 to 11 a.m. The day will start with dignitary speeches, followed by live music and activities for all ages, including pioneer demonstrations and costumed narrators. The Steam Museum will also reopen, and trains will run every hour from noon to 3 p.m. Make sure to stop by the Lions Club for a peameal sandwich and cupcakes. For more details, visit Muskoka Heritage Place

For more fun, make your way to River Mill Park between noon and 6 p.m. You can cool down with a cold one at the Lake of Bays Beer Garden while listening to free musical performances from Sean Cotton & The New Locals, Gina Horswood, The Waterhouse Band, Postman Dan & The Love Letters, and Brickz & Taktikz. Support charity and have a hot dog at the barbecue. Keep up-to-date on all the events with the Downtown Huntsville BIA

Collingwood

Bring the family to Collingwood’s three-day Canada Weekend event from July 1-3. Start the celebrations off with a pancake breakfast on Friday, followed by a bike parade starting at Trott’s Sports Excellence Parking Lot and ending at the Collingwood Library. Stay in the downtown core to enjoy the Citizenship Reaffirmation Ceremony, the cutting of Canada’s birthday cake, and the 10th annual rubber duck race. Make sure you secure an early spot at Millennium Park or along the Waterfront Promenade for the best firework views at 10 p.m.

The rest of the weekend is full of events such as the Collingwood Downtown Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning at the Pine St. Parking Lot; the Collingwood Arts Market all day Saturday on Simcoe Street; and the Wild Card Street Circus from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Sheffer Court.

You’ll also want to visit the Georgian Life photo booth and the Porchside Festival on Friday and Saturday. Lastly, don’t forget to take a selfie with Candid Canuck—a Collingwood icon! The Town of Collingwood has all the details you need to know. 

Parry Sound

Canada Day meets Ribfest this year in Parry Sound at the Stockey Centre. Starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, kids can have fun with inflatables, face painting, balloon artists, and even play Midway games. Adults can enjoy the beer garden from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. all weekend. There will also be musical performances during the three-day event, featuring The OneTimers, Jessica Sevier, and The Sun Harmonic. Fireworks will commence at dusk on Friday.

And as you work up an appetite celebrating the long weekend, you can eat your way through Ribfest from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 1-3. More details on Canada Day and Ribfest can be found on The Stockey Centre website

Check out these Canada Day essentials you can use all summer long!

Westport

Westport is the place to be for a jam-packed day of fun and endless events. Get an early start with breakfast at the Westport Welcome Centre starting at 8 a.m., and then take the family to enjoy children’s and music by Tom Gard and Elvis at Westport Lions Beach from noon to 4 p.m. The Annual Bicycle Parade will start at 2 p.m. at St. Edward Catholic School. If you’re looking for a little more, you can take a helicopter ride at the Rideau Lakes Airfield. Reserve your spot at Circle K. You can also visit the Rideau Museum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or see the carriage display on Rideau Street from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Is all that fun making you hungry? Well, it’s Legion Hamburger Friday from noon to 2 p.m. Live music will fill the Legion 542 patio from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and take you right to the firework display. (Hint: bring your lawn chairs for a more comfortable experience.) Event details can be found on the Westport website.

Gravenhurst

Gravenhurst is hosting an all-ages afternoon of fun from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gull Lake Rotary Park. Start the day off by visiting interactive tents set up by the Gravenhurst Public Library. Make sure to check out the Scales Nature Park display and the Junior Firefighter Challenge. Hotdogs will be served by Mayor Paul Kelly and the council at 11:30 a.m. and cupcakes will be handed out at 12 p.m. (yum!). The afternoon will end on a musical note with local ukulele band performances. Visit the Town of Gravenhurst for more information. 

Festivities in Gravenhurst extend to July 2 at Walker’s Point Marina. Catch live music all afternoon and play carnival games to win prizes. You can also attend the free wake surf clinics sponsored by Muskoka Extreme or a ski show at 7 p.m. The night will end with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. 

Port Carling 

Canada Day in Port Carling is paired with the Lock Street Kick-Off, a pilot project converting Lock Street into a pedestrian-only area starting July 1. The festivities will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. While you enjoy the barbecue lunch, you can listen to live music or play a life-sized board game. More details on the Canada Day event and pilot project can be found on the Muskoka Lakes website

Bracebridge

The Rotary Club is hosting Canada Day in Bracebridge this year at Birds Mill Mew. Kids can have fun playing games and making crafts starting at 3 p.m. The day will continue at Bracebridge Bay in the evening, where there will be musical performances, a duck derby, a beer garden, food vendors, and a floaty race. Stick around until 10 p.m. for the fireworks and laser show. Entrance is free, but a $5 donation is recommended to help fund the event. More details to follow on the Downtown Bracebridge website

Lindsay

Canada Day in the Kawartha Lakes area is going to be full of excitement—just check out the lineup in Lindsay. Starting at 3 p.m. at Wilson Fields, kids can join in on making balloon animals, face painting, and obstacle courses, plus there will be a petting zoo, ponies, and carriage rides. There’s live entertainment throughout the day and vendors to browse for the adults. If you’re feeling hungry, grab a bite at the many food trucks or the barbecue hosted by the Lions Club. Fireworks will start at 10 p.m. Keep up-to-date with all the events on the Kawartha Lakes page.

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