Decked in red and Canada swag, over 300 people gathered at the Vanderhoof Community Museum and Riverside Park to celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1.
Starting with the Mary John Walk from Saik’uz First Nation to Vanderhoof Community Museum in the morning, festivities continued with pancake breakfast and various children’s races on the museum grounds.
In the afternoon, festivities at Riverside Park began with an opening by local radio broadcaster John Vosper, referencing the apologetic Canadian stereotype and Canadian celebrities such as Celine Dion, Ryan Reynolds, and Justin Bieber.
Sarah Ebert led the audience in singing “O Canada”, followed by welcome speeches from Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, Director Jerry Petersen from the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Chief Stanley Thomas from Saik’uz First Nation, and Councillor Kevin Moutray from the District of Vanderhoof.
Attending local service groups included the Vanderhoof Fire Department, who set up sprinklers to provide cooling and fun for participating families, and representation from the local RCMP detachment dressed in red ceremonial uniform for the occasion.
Entertainment on site included children’s races and face painting hosted by the YMCA of Northern B.C. in Vanderhoof, balloon art by Clash the Clown, cotton candy and snow cones from Vanderhoof Children’s Theatre, a free barbecue and Canadian-themed cupcakes from the district, and a performance by local band Macho Tsunami.