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Canada Day festivities attract hundreds at ceremonies, parties across the country

People watch as fireworks explode over LeBreton Flats area during Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa, on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

OTTAWA - The Maple Leaf is flying on lampposts, flagpoles and patios across the country as cities from coast to coast welcome thousands of revellers for Canada Day.

In Ottawa, a number of city streets are closed around Parliament Hill and the LeBreton Flats Park, where the stage for this year's main ceremony is set up.

The national celebration is set to start at noon Eastern Time and includes performances by Bedouin Soundclash and Montreal artist Marie-Mai.

People in downtown Ottawa will also see a special fly-past in honour of the Royal Canadian Air Force's 100th anniversary that's set to feature the Snowbirds aerobatics team.

The celebrations will be capped off by a fireworks display at around 10 p.m., also at LeBreton Flats.

At Thomson Memorial Park in Toronto, blue skies and sunny weather greeted hundreds of people dressed in red and white and waving small Canadian flags. Families set up picnics and children played on inflatable bouncy castles.

"I feel really amazed that we could come here and play and do fun activities. I love this place, especially the bouncy castles. Everything's been fun," said nine-year-old Shuvam Ghimire, who came to the park with his family.

His father, Bhuwan Ghimire, said he hopes all Canadians will try to get along and "work with each other rather than against each other."

"Let's make it a better country," said Ghimire, who immigrated from Nepal in 2015.

This year's anniversary airshow in Ottawa features a series of aircraft that date back to the Second World War along with planes and helicopters the Air Force is flying today.

People will also get a glimpse of the RCAF's future, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, which has flown in several of its own aircraft including a P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane. Canada signed a $4.3-billion deal to buy a fleet of P-8s last November and they're set to arrive in 2026.

On Parliament Hill, where the main ceremonies had been held in years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Force pipes and drums band and the air cadets bands will perform throughout the day, and the SkyHawks parachute team is set to drop by at 3 p.m.

Athletes who are representing Team Canada at the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris this summer will also be part of the events at LeBreton Flats.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office has said he won't be attending events in Ottawa this year, but will instead be in St. John's, N.L., where he took part in a ceremony to mark 100 years of the Newfoundland National War Memorial and the interment of the remains of a First World War soldier.

Elsewhere, ceremonies, shows and other festivities are set to take place in cities across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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