Celebrating 150 Years of Canada

With Canada celebrating 150 years, my friends, Jean, May, Celia and Wanda and I 20170701_112346decided to brave the rain forecast, and  see the parade and the festivities at the Old Port. With a rain jacket and an umbrella tucked into my backpack, I met them at the corner of Peel and St. Catherine where the parade would turn down on the homestretch.

People decked out in red and white were smiling and waving paper flags. Wanda reached into a plastic bag she was carrying and pulled out a plastic headband decorated with tiny flags and tinsel for me to wear. Now I was ready to party!

Of course, one of the first things that caught Celia’s eye was a man in uniform. John Nelson is a veteran from the Korean War. It was a pleasure to meet him and shake his hand.

Celia and John Nelson

Many of the parade participants wore traditional dress. It really warmed my heart to see them proudly display their heritage while waving the Canadian flag, after all, we are a country of immigrants.

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The Chinese community had a float acknowledging the part the Chinese played in building the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

Chinese community float in Canada Day parade 2017

A dragon dance to celebrate Canada Day.

Dragon Dance in Canada Day parade 2017

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As it got closer to 1 p.m. and the parade not close to finishing, Wanda, Celia and I decided to head over to Dominion Square and get in line for the cake. It would be the first time in 40 years of the parade that either of us would have a piece of the birthday cake. It was supposed to be big enough to serve 2,000 people. I just had to see this cake!

Canada Day cake 2017

We could see the cake tent from where we stood. While we waited, Wanda made a couple of trips to get free coffee from the McDonald’s stand and free smoothies from another.  The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit. It just seemed to make everyone more determined to celebrate and enjoy the day.

20170701_134132 Local politician, Alan Desousa, was there to hand out the cake.

20170701_141554 Afterwards, we headed to the Old Port to check out the festivities. On the way, while walking through the Jazz Festival, we came upon a bachelor party. Guess which one is the groom-to-be?

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The rain subsided in the late afternoon. It turned out to be a pleasant evening in Old Montreal where we ended up shopping in souvenir stores and found some really nice things made by local artists. (I have to be a tourist in my own city more often.)

The Old Port was packed for the fireworks which started at 10 p.m. Minutes after it was over, the rain came pouring down, sending everyone running for cover.

I hope you all had a great Canada Day!

 

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