Canada Day from coast to coast 0
LINDA WHITE, SPECIAL TO QMI AGENCY
It may be a day-long birthday party marked by fireworks, concerts and all things red and white, but Canada Day simply can't be contained into a mere 24 hours.
Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the world's second largest country (in area) is home to six time zones.
That means there's a 4.5-hour time difference from one coast to the next. Folks in Newfoundland and Labrador will the first in the country to officially mark Canada Day, while those in British Columbia and the Yukon will officially wrap up the day.
The country's largest celebration takes place in the nation's capital. Every year, tens of thousands of people descend upon Parliament Hill in Ottawa to take part in the Canada Day Noon Show officiated by the prime minister, governor general, and minister of Canadian heritage and official languages.
As the country celebrates its 145th birthday, the theme of this year's show is Celebrating the Heritage of 1812. Highlights include a flyby of CF 18s and Snowbirds, along with a show featuring such homegrown talents as Jully Black, Feist, Simple Plan and Roch Voisine.
Celebrations across the country have decidedly regional flavours. Flag waving in St. John's, Nfld., kicks off with a sunrise ceremony at 6 a.m. at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada. Celtic music is featured at outdoor concerts on Confederation Hill.
In Halifax, N.S., patriots can enjoy a pancake breakfast, sing O Canada from the top of Citadel Hill and attend a free summer concert featuring 2012 Juno nominees Mother Mother. At the end of the day, enjoy fireworks over Dartmouth Crossing.
Montreal's fête du Canada is set to include a parade and mega-cake at the Quays of the Old Port, along with skateboarding demos, line dancing, a yoga fest and fireworks. In Quebec City, there's no charge to visit the Plains of Abraham -- the scene of the pivotal 1759 battle between England and France. Today, it's the setting of many outdoor festivals and shows.
In Ontario, the City of Toronto celebrates Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square with live musical performances by Canadian bands and fireworks choreographed to music. Area celebrations include Canada Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where visitors can experience life in 1867, witness a citizenship ceremony and toast the country's birthday with a specialty maple beer on tap at its historic brewery.
On the West Coast, celebrations at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver include a street festival, live music concerts on four stages and an annual parade. Celebrations at nearby Granville Island feature a parade, a pancake breakfast, a South Asian cultural extravaganza of song and dance and Bollywood fashions.
Steveston, Richmond's historic fishing village, attracts more than 70,000 visitors to its joint Canada Day and Steveston Salmon Festival. As part of its renowned salmon barbecue, more than 1,200 pounds of wild salmon filets will be grilled over open firepits.
From Inuvik to Yellowknife, Canada Day festivities are very much alive and going strong in the Northwest Territories, Heritage Canada reports. Youth and elders take part in activities ranging from bannock making, harpoon throwing and northern games demonstrations to jamborees and music in the park.
Communities large and small host barbecues, concerts, fireworks and other celebrations, including citizenship ceremonies.
Many expatriates will also get in on the action. Since 2006, for example, annual Canada Day celebrations have been held at Trafalgar Square -- the location of Canada House -- in London, England. The event traditionally features Canadian performers and street hockey.