Up to 20,000 people will swarm the city’s waterfront on Monday to celebrate Canada’s 152nd birthday.
“Canada Day is 100 per cent our largest event that we do every year,” said Leah Prentice, acting director of recreation and culture for the City of Thunder Bay. “We will have up to 20,000 people down here at Marina Park. We are programming the entire park from one end to the other. People will be moving through the whole space.”
Community groups and vendors will be on site as well as the park’s usual amenities like the splash pad, arts centre and restaurants.
There will be live entertainment in five different stage areas including Sultans of String and Thunder Bay’s own Honest Heart Collective.
The Porter Family stage, located near the splash pad, will feature Canadian cover bands throughout the evening that will feature the music of Alanis Morrisette, Our Lady Peace, The Tragically Hip and Rush.
Inflatables, the Lakehead Shrine Club’s Shrine train, face painting, balloon animals and Science North will also be on site along with artisans.
And the evening will close out with the fireworks display at 11 p.m.
“There are lots of different things for people to experience and get inside to cool off and get a snack and spend lots of time outside,” said Prentice.
Admission is free and while there is no parking on site during Canada Day festivities, there is free parking available in the Court Street parkade and free shuttle buses will be available from Intercity Shopping Centre and the 55 Plus Centre.
“It’s a great opportunity on a holiday celebration day to come out with friends, family, visitors to town, and have a wonderful time at our beautiful waterfront,” Prentice said.
For those looking to celebrate early in the day, Fort William Historical Park is hosting its Canada Day celebrations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the first 500 visitors receiving free admission.
“Canada Day at Fort William Historical Park is a great day,” said Emily Carr, communications officer for park. “It’s a great opportunity to come on down and learn the history that helped make Thunder Bay, all the communities that worked together.”
The day will feature a free corn roast and Canada Day cake as well as canoe and wagon rides, axe-throwing, musket-firing, crafts and science stations.
New this year is a Zorb Ball inflatable obstacle course.
“There is so much going on,” said Carr. “It’s just a great time.”
After the first 500 people have arrived through the gates, admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and youth and children five and younger get in for free.
(Originally published June 28, 2019 in The Chronicle-Journal print edition)