Canada Day events return on July 1st

File photo from July 1, 2018. Photo by Earl Hartlen.

Port Dover Lions plan full day program; seek donations and community sponsors

AFTER two years of COVID-19 restrictions that limited Canada Day festivities in this community to minor events, Port Dover Lions Club is again planning a full day’s program on Friday, July 1st.

Paul Boulanger is chair of the local Lions’ organizing committee which has co-ordinated the day’s events since 1954 along with other local service groups and partners.

The usual day-long program is planned to return starting at 9 am with the Soap Box Derby organized by the Kinsmen Club of Port Dover.

At 11 am, the focus moves to the pier with the popular Boat Parade at the waterfront which sees both commercial tugs and pleasure boats decorated with flags and streamers.

At 11:15 the Canine Classic Canada Day Dog Show gets underway in Powell Park organized in past years by Kristine Hill. A wide range of dogs are shown with prizes awarded.

The largest event of the day is the Canada Day Calithumpian Parade that starts at 2 pm and travels the length of Main Street and returns on St. George Street to the delight of thousands of people along the parade route.

Mr Boulanger is organizing music for the parade with three marching bands already signed to attend on Canada Day. They are the Optimist Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, Top Hats Marching Band and Paris Port Dover Pipe Band. As well, Marr’s Holler and Gentlemen of Harmony will play throughout the parade on floats.

Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp is the 2022 Canada Day Parade Grand Marshall.

Everyone is invited to participate in the parade by entering a float or dressing up in costume to entertain the crowds. There is no registration required but organizers insist that all vehicles in the parade must be decorated.

Parade participants should gather along the north end of St. George Street at least an hour before parade time for judging. Prizes are awarded in several categories for decorated floats.

Starting at 7 pm a concert featuring Route 6 will be held at Port Dover Lions’ large Silver Lake Park on St. Patrick Street.

The day’s events end with a fireworks show shortly after dark from Silver Lake Park.

Mr Boulanger says the Lions are hoping those who are able will help support the club with a donation to the Canada Day program.

The Lions arranged with Port Dover branch of Scotiabank to accept any size donation towards the Canada Day parade, bands or fireworks. Staff at the Main Street bank branch can accept the donation and while no tax receipt can be issued, the entire donation will go to the Canada Day program.

As well, the popular Canada Day buttons return for 2022 selling for $3 each or two buttons for $5. They will be available from Lions, in some stores during June and on Canada Day. Wearing a button shows support for the day’s events.

Canada Day, and previously Dominion Day, has seen a celebration in Port Dover since the Canadian confederation in 1867. During the years of World War One and World War Two when larger cities cancelled parades, Port Dover continued to have a celebration. During the past two years of COVID-19 restrictions, a scaled down “mini-parade” and fireworks kept the tradition alive.

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