Port Dover prepares for Canada Day 150

THIS year’s Canada Day celebration in Port Dover, with the Canada 150 anniversary are only days away. July 1st organizers and those intending to participate in activities are finalizing plans. Port Dover Lions Club is the lead group and all 65 members have been assigned tasks for this year’s celebration.

Soap Box Derby

The day-long program will begin with the Kinsmen Club’s Soap Box Derby. Traditionally, the race is down the Chapman Street Hill but with construction on the downtown roads this year’s location had not been confirmed on Monday. The race will begin at 9 a.m. for youthful racers between the ages of 8 to 14 years.

Home Decorating

Judges begin their task at 9 a.m. to declare winners of the Home and Business Decorating Contest sponsored by Port Dover Foundation. Entries must register at Board of Trade office 519-583-1314. Grand Champion Award $50; First Prize $40; Runner-up $30. Many businesses and homeowners decorate their properties as part of their community spirit just to make the town look more celebratory.

Boat Parade

Boaters intending to be a part of the Canada Day Boat Parade should decorate to be a winner in four categories: Commercial; Pleasure Craft steel hull; Pleasure Craft power; Pleasure Craft sail. Plaques presented for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each category. The parade in the harbour begins at 11:00 a.m.

Canine Classic show

This next activity on the day’s calendar of events will be the 18th annual ‘All Breed Canine Classic’ in Powell Park at 11:15. It draws larger crowds every year with increased registration of various breeds and sizes of dogs with organizer and veteran judge Kristine Danton in charge.

Runners Classic

This year will mark the 10th annual Port Dover North Shore Runners Classic Scavenger Hunt which organizer Scot Brockbank says entrants can run, walk or cycle the 5k course in and around Port Dover. The idea is to find clues at designated stops. There is no fee to join in this fun and energizing Canada Day event. He asks participants to wear red and white. Check at Northshore Athletics for details.

Museum exhibit

Port Dover Harbour Museum’s Family Ties exhibit will be one of many interesting displays for visitors to enjoy. The museum on Harbour Street will be open on July 1 from 10 until 4 p.m.

Buy a Button

Lions Club members, along with volunteers, will be selling ‘Canada Day 150 Buttons’ for $2.00 throughout the day. People wearing a button get free admission to the evening concert and fireworks at Silver Lake Park.

Parade highlights

The biggest event of the day is the Calithumpian Parade starting at 2:00 p.m. which draws tens of thousands spectators lining the route that has been altered this year because of Main St. reconstruction.
Parade floats, costumed walking children and adult participants, vehicles, horses, etc. should assemble in the area of St. George Street north and Clifford St. Judging of floats begins at 12:30. Children category judging begins at 1:30 in the vicinity of 1 Clifford Street. Parade march-off is promptly at 2:00 p.m.

Parade route

The parade route for this year will be down Main to Alma, west on Alma to St. George St. south to Chapman St. then east to Main and continue through the downtown to Clinton St. then west on Clinton to St. George for a short distance to Market St, then west on Market to Drayton which flows into First Ave. north to Greenock to St. George and back to start area.
This Canada Day parade route has several sharp turns, especially onto Drayton St which is a narrow one block long so no vehicles will be allowed on the public roadway or chairs or other obstacles on the sidewalk to enable large floats and bands to pass along. It is a Port Dover tradition for many families to place chairs along the sidewalks and up onto the lawns of residences where homeowners enjoy close proximity to the spectacle … but not on Drayton Street.

Enter a float

Port Dover Lions Club Canada Day committees are hopeful many organizations and businesses will enter a float for this special Canada 150 year. As always, there is no pre-registration, nor fee to enter the parade.
Parade categories this year are: Parade Floats: Best Canada 150 Anniversary Float – $150 (this year only); Outstanding Float or Vehicle-$100; Best Decorated Commercial Float-$100; Best Decorated Non-Commercial Float-$100, $50, $50; Best Organization/Club Float-$100, $50, $50. Equestrian Section: Best Horse Team-$50, Best Horse & Rider-$30. Adult Costume: Grand Prize for Best Clown-June Butler Award-$50; Best Adult Costume-$50, $30. Children Section; Best Costume-$10, $5; Best Child & Pet-$10, $5. A Toonie for Every Specially Costumed Child Entrant. There is no registration form to fill out … or parade entry fee to pay … just show up on St. George Street north for parade judging by 12:30 p.m.
The parade, organized by Port Dover Lions Club, is so large that those who lead off at the 2:00 p.m. march-off can find themselves, at the end of the route about an hour later. The spectacle requires an enormous amount of work by the participants who spend many hours decorating floats, and volunteers who take care of a multitude of duties with the big tasks being marshalling and judging.
There will be nine bands and musical groups in this year’s parade: Paris-Port Dover Pipe Band, Top Hats Marching Band, Optimists Drum & Bugle Corps, North Star Youth Band, Cameo Jazz Band, Impact Percussion, Burlington Teen Tour Band, Shriners Club of Hamilton Oriental Band, Icon Percussion.

Lots more to do

Of course, downtown and harbourfront ares are buzzing with shopping with stores, shops and eateries, plus the sandy beach with its many attractions keeps people happy from morning to sunset.

Music at Silver Lake Park

During the evening at Silver Lake Park, there will be music and fireworks. Everyone wearing a Lions Club “Port Dover Canada 150 July 1st” button (cost $2.00 at street locations) can enter the park free! All others must pay $2.00 per person.
The crowd will be entertained from 7 to 8 by ‘The Palominos’ who are Toronto’s premier Power Trio-Lite made up of Jen Carstairs (drums, vocals), Will Cornish (bass, vocals), Paul Faulkner (guitar,vocals). Their sound is unadorned straight-up folk, blues and country drawing on traditional and modern influences.
From 8 to 9 p.m. ‘The Feds’ will entertain. They are all Norfolk County musicians who did a grand job at last year’s event in Silver Lake Park. Band members are Ian Madge, (keyboards, vocals), Dave Smith (drums, lead vocals) Pete Darg (base guitar, vocals), Ron Lea (lead guitar, vocals).

Fireworks at dark

The gigantic Canada Day fireworks display will end the 2017 celebration with a ‘bang’ and colourful skyrockets for the Port Dover Canada 150 grand finale in the sky over Silver Lake Park at dark.


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