Geddes: So much to do on Canada Day

Canada Day will be upon us tomorrow and is, as we all know, a welcome day off but also a great day to get out and celebrate this absolutely awesome country of ours.

  • Jun. 30, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Canada Day will be upon us tomorrow and is, as we all know, a welcome day off but also a great day to get out and celebrate this absolutely awesome country of ours.

So you have all your flags, your face paint, your patriotism and all of your other Canadian paraphernalia but now—what do you do?

You might find yourself tomorrow morning, or today even, wondering what you’re going to do with yourself on the birthday of our true north strong and free.

Kelowna has no shortage of opportunities to busy yourself on the start of your three-day weekend.

To start things off, Kelowna style, I would suggest leaving the car at home. We’ve all sworn under our breath about never being able to find a parking spot in downtown Kelowna during busy summer weekends and tomorrow will be no exception. Plan to bike, skate, board, walk, or public transit your way down to Kelowna’s Canada Day hot spot.

Once downtown, Celebrate Canada Day – Kelowna kicks off at 10 a.m. The celebration is an annual, free community festival held in Prospera Place and Waterfront Park. It is produced as a community partnership between Festivals Kelowna, Folkfest and the Kelowna Canada Day Concerts Society, bringing the community a huge number of activities for all ages and abilities to enjoy.

Ther are more than 50 absolutely free activities and performances that are multi-generational and family-friendly for every attendee to enjoy. To kick everything off, at 12:30 p.m. there will be the Canada Day Opening Ceremonies which will feature a huge cake cutting (think enough cake for 700 people) to celebrate our country’s 144th birthday.

Following the opening ceremonies is a barrage of activities including ball hockey, vendors, artisans and crafters in the Made in Canada Marketplace, the Taste of Canada featuring food vendors from across the Valley, a Kids Zone and live music performances featuring the likes of Mobadass, Windborn and Young Sparrows.

There is lots to explore along the expansive event site but don’t forget about how nice it would be to head back down towards Bernard Avenue and how good a chilled beverage on a (fingers crossed) sunny patio will taste. With so many to choose from it might be hard to pick out just one roof-top or street-side hangout.

So now we’ve managed to fill up most of our day, but what about the evening?

You’re downtown already, so instead of dragging yourself back home to slave over a hot stove (or barbeque), maybe stay right where you are and enjoying some delicious dining out. Downtown Kelowna has a great selection of restaurants (111 in total, so I’m told) and there are some great still-slightly-newbies to check out like Fernando’s Taqueria or the Twisted Tomato.

Now, of course, come the fireworks. This blessed display of all things patriotic, bright, glorious (and yet generally underwhelming) over Okanagan Lake will kick off at 10:30 p.m. Although this is an exciting and breathtaking moment for most, for some this is also the highest point of tension from a day’s worth of mass crowds, sunshine and consumption of numerous beverages, and so if I may whisper a number of haunting words like: “Regatta, Wakefest, or Vancouver Stanley Cup Finals.” Let’s keep things cool, safe and positive. We all love to celebrate and we want to make sure that our city is still allowed to celebrate.

After the evening’s festivities my final advice is to head down to Doc Willoughby’s, enjoy the good company and listen to Red Eye Empire to rock, reggae, pop and ska the night away.

Happy Canada Day!


Pyper Geddes is the general manager of

Habitat and an A-OK contributor.


Kelowna Capital News