Canada Day Parade gets big boost
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 11:03 am
The 2014 Canada Day Parade and fireworks display are shaping up to be bigger and better than ever thanks in part to a $5,000 grant the Airdrie Parades and Fireworks Committee received from Canadian Heritage’s Celebrate Canada Program.
“We’re going to use most of it to top off the fireworks event,” said committee Chairperson Stewart McLeish. “We didn’t have quite enough (funding) to put on a full 15 minutes last year and now we will this year.”
The grant is awarded to organizations and institutions that have activities organized on specific days during the Celebrate Canada period, from June 21 to July 1, which encourages Canadians to celebrate their symbols, values, heritage and cultural diversity.
McLeish said the committee applied for “a lot more” funding because they want to expand the Canada Day celebration significantly, but added, “We were very, very grateful for the $5,000.”
This year’s parade will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. along Main Street on July 1, and McLeish said residents can expect a lot of new registrants in the parade this year including the Calgary Stampede Show Wagons.
“It’s really a fun day. A lot of fun, a lot of noise and a lot of interesting floats,” he said.
He reminds residents on July 1, Main Street will be shut down from First Avenue to Allen Street from 9 a.m. to a half-an-hour after the end of the parade (approximately 12:30 p.m.).
The chairperson also said there is still room for more parade registrants but time is running out with float registration closing on June 25.
“The theme this year is celebrating the Alberta Summer Games,” he said. “But it’s still important (for registrants) to remember it’s Canada’s birthday.”
New this year is a free family dance prior to the fireworks display at East Lake Athletic Park from 8 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.
“We’re trying to get something for everybody,” he said of the addition. “A lot of people go (to the park) and wait around until it’s fairly dark and we start the fireworks. We thought instead of them hanging around, we’d provide some entertainment they are a part of.”
McLeish said there will also be about a half-an-hour of time before the fireworks for the rededication ceremony for the park where East Lake Park will be renamed Ed Eggerer Athletic Park in recognition and remembrance of the local businessman and philanthropist who passed away in 2013.
He said they are expecting several thousand people for the dance and fireworks and asks residents to walk to the event or park their cars somewhere other than at the park.
He added the committee is still in need of volunteers throughout the day and interested residents can get more information at airdrieparades.com