Canada Day festivities in Nelson take place all day Monday at Rotary Lakeside Park. File photo

Canada Day festivities set for Nelson’s Rotary Lakeside Park

Here’s what’s happening Monday


The entertainment is scheduled and community groups are all gearing up with family-oriented activities, as the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce rolls out Canada Day 2019.

The Chamber of Commerce has been organizing Canada Day activities for Nelson and area for longer than they can remember.

President Tanya Finley says “there’s a lot of work that goes into organizing this Canada Day community celebration. Thanks to the chamber staff, and many chamber directors who have helped over the years with stage building, organizing, setting up and tearing down … and of course getting that giant four-by-eight-foot cake down to the park. Our day starts early and ends late, but the chamber enjoys putting together this free family fun day.”

Executive director Tom Thomson notes that Canada Day kicks off on Baker Street with the annual Lions Club pancake breakfast that runs from 8 to 11 a.m.

Following breakfast, you can head to Lakeside Park for the opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. with local dignitaries celebrating our diversity and culture, and with a colour guard of Nelson Police, RCMP and firefighters. That is followed by a rousing rendition of O Canada lead by the Heritage Harmony Barbershop singers and kicks off about 11 hours of music and dance entertainment.

One of the highlights each year is the giant birthday cake served up at 11 a.m. by chamber directors and members of Nelson city council. In fact, you can indulge throughout the day at the Rose Garden Café or enjoy the Rotary Club’s annual barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rotary shelter.

The park is alive with activity as there are close to 30 community groups and organizations at this year’s event, all of them offering up family-oriented kids activities, from sandcastles to bouncy castles, dragonboats to jump rope, art making to map making, tattoos to trivia.

Entertainment on stage gets underway at 10:45 following the opening ceremonies and runs through 9:45 p.m., with solo artists, bluegrass, blues, the Nelson Community Band, Playmor Junction Big Band, highland dancers, Rhythm Dance Drum Orchestra, Samba Band and the Nelson Rhythm Ropers with three shows, including a light show at 9:30 p.m. at the Labyrinth prior to the fireworks finale.

Thomson adds the day belongs to the community groups and organizations, volunteers and entertainers, but it wouldn’t be possible without fundraising and sponsors. “A special thanks to the Nelson Professional Firefighters for helping us order, transport and safely handle the fireworks finale around 10 p.m. that is always a crowd pleaser and a great way to end the day long celebration,” he said.

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