The City of Nanaimo is throwing a bash to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and residents can be active while they’re being festive.
According to Michele Duerksen, city recreation coordinator, the party takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park July 1. It all begins at 10 a.m., there will be free family fun and it will be larger than past Canada Day celebrations.
“The Romper Room’s going to be there, providing [its] climbing wall until 7 p.m.,” said Duerksen. “We’ve got a couple of big, big, big bouncy castles. We’ve got the whole interactive area at … Lions Pavilion and all spread out around there. All kinds of different children’s interactive booths.”
“Any booth that goes in that area down there has to be providing interactive activities for people, not informative ones. So you have people from PacificSport running activities for the kids, the francophone association’s usually there, they put on some active games and stuff for the children to take part in, so the entire grassy zone by the Lions Pavilion is all activity-based,” said Grace Bell, city rec coordinator.
Face painting, roving entertainers and live music will also be part of the celebrations. A main stage will be at the pavilion and a secondary stage will be near Sway’ A’ Lana Lagoon, Duerksen said.
Dancers will perform on the stage near Sway’ A’ Lana and people can dance along too, according to Duerksen and Bell.
Scottish dancers, cloggers, hula dancers and Chinese dancers will be among the performers and there will be seniors line dancing.
Duerksen and Bell said there will be fishing demonstrations taking place on the floating dock in the lagoon, set up during Hometown Hockey.
“Learn how to do it without hooks, no fish, no hooks, more technique and on the other side of the dock, there’s going to be the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and they’re going to have some activities going on on the dock as well,” said Bell.
“They’re talking about what is the proper crab to catch and they have some crab scales they’ll be giving out, so that you can test if a crab is legal or not and they have a bunch of other interactive things that their bringing as well,” said Duerksen.
Other activities of note include a throwback bathtub race, which will see the old Nanaimo to Vancouver route run and that takes place at 11 a.m.
People can also tour the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Nanaimo with tours taking place at the visiting vessel pier between 1 and 4 p.m.
A fireworks show will take place at dusk and if families are worrying about traffic congestion, transit is free that day.
“After you’re done with the fireworks, hop on the bus [and] head home,” said Duerksen.