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Thousands celebrate Canada’s birthday in Brantford

Canada DayThousands celebrate Canada's birthday in Brantford

Thousands of Brantford and County of Brant residents attended the annual Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

The day was filled with family-friendly fun as guests of all ages explored the park and the many activities available on site including midway rides, carnival games, and pony rides

Doug “the Great” Hunt represents the RCMP while hanging out with Brant Beacon staff during the Canada Day festivities on Monday, July 1, 2024.

In the vendor marketplace, guests visited a number of non-profit organizations, city departments, and local businesses who set up to sell their wares or share more information about their various services. From hair accessories to apparel, artwork, henna, face painting and more, there was plenty to browse and buy throughout the day.

Matthew, Grayson, Freya and Alisha Lafantaisie show off their Canadian Pride during Brantford’s Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

As far as the entertainment, hundreds of residents stopped by to check out Independent Pro Wrestling’s annual Canada Cup tournament while others stuck around the Young Canadians Stage for one of the many children’s acts such as Rumple and Friends, Debra Brown and Circus Friends, and a PAW Patrol meet and greet.

Arjun Singh kicks Good Boy Jack Russell during a quarterfinal match of Independent Pro Wrestling’s annual Canada Day Cup on Monday, July 1, 2024.

Over on the mainstage Nosey Neighbour, Jack Sith, Tyler Wilson Band, Jace Martin and the Pace, and Queen’s Court all spent the afternoon taking turns entertaining the crowd and as the day went on, visitors soon began making their way over to the main stage in preparation for headliners The Spoons and David Wilcox, as well as the big firework display to end out the evening.

Debra Brown and Circus Friends perform a routine on the Young Canadians Stage during Brantford’s Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

Dave Carrol, Chair of the Brantford Canada Day committee, said that he was thrilled with how many people came out to celebrate the country’s 157th birthday.

“With events like these, everything is really so dependent on weather and today is just beautiful,” he said. “There’s not a cloud in the sky and I think this has to be one of the best turnouts in years.”

Kids soar through the air during Brantford’s Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

Carrol said that while the event is always filled with plenty of fun for all ages, one of the best things about the day is seeing all the diverse groups of people who call Canada home.

“People always talk about how beautiful the diversity in the country is and it is, but then when you really see it and you really experience it, it’s such a beautiful picture and I think that’s one of my favourite parts,” he said.

Susan de Jong of Shallow Creek Academy of Hair Design, gives Arbor Cullen, nine-years-old, a set of braids during Brantford’s Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

While the event usually features a citizenship ceremony where new Canadians can take their oath together, Carrol said that this year they decided to hold a citizenship reaffirmation ceremony in its place.

“It will be similar to the citizenship ceremony but I’ll be going up on the stage with MP Larry Brock and we’re going to lead people in an official pledge of reaffirming our citizenship and our devotion to Canada,” he said. “I think if it works we may incorporate this going forward because what a neat way to kind of all get together and say ‘this is our country, we love it, and we care about it.’”

Kobe Durst and Isaiah Cross battle it out during a quarterfinal match of Independent Pro Wrestling’s annual Canada Day Cup on Monday, July 1, 2024.

Carrol added that the annual event is a major production that requires many hands and that he couldn’t have done it without the help of the events planning committee.

“I know for me, I like serving and volunteering because it’s a great thing to do and I like the cause, but the reason I keep doing it is because it’s actually fun. What I love about the group that runs Canada Day is that they’re wonderful people and it’s just become a really well-oiled machine with people who know what they’re doing and who are excellent at their job. There’s always so many people involved but Jen Middleton, Lori-Dawn Cavin, and Alyshia Howard are such wonderful and genuine people who really do a lot of the big work to be able to put the nuts and bolts in place. It always feels like such a great accomplishment when you have that kind of collaboration.”

Six-year-old Jack MacDonald goes for a pony ride during the Canada Day festivities on Monday, July 1, 2024.
Yuvraj Singh happily waves at his dad from the carousel ride during Brantford’s Canada Day celebration at Lions Park on Monday, July 1, 2024.

He said that while he’s thankful to have great City staff as team members, he’s always inspired by the many volunteers who offer their time to help out.

“We all know the pandemic decimated the volunteer base of a lot of organizations and so to say that we had well over 200 volunteers making this day possible is just incredibly inspiring to me,” said Carrol. “Everyone loves a party but not everyone likes cleaning up after the party and so to see many people help the City with setup, running the event and cleaning up afterwards, it’s just incredible and I’m so grateful for everyone who pitches in and puts in those long hours.”

A couple of kids were all smiles as they went for a ride on “Orient Express” during the Canada Day festivities on Monday, July 1, 2024.
Good Boy Jack Russell and Arjun Singh exchange blows during a quarterfinal match of Independent Pro Wrestling’s annual Canada Day Cup on Monday, July 1, 2024.
Members of London Studio Cirque perform during the Canada Day festivities on Monday, July 1, 2024.
Emmett (far left) and Erica Alexander (far right) pose for a photo before going on the carousel during the Canada Day festivities on Monday, July 1, 2024.

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