The city was red and white all over for Canada Day.
Thousands of people in Thunder Bay were given a beautiful gift for the nation’s 145 th birthday Sunday as temperatures hit the high 20s and the sun was out in full force. Around 4,000 people embraced the present and headed back in time to Fort William Historical Park in the afternoon. Marketing manager Doug Stanton said Canada Day is one the fort’s largest family events of the year.
“Canada Day has become quite a tradition for families across Canada. Everyone celebrates the nation’s birthday but I think particularly with the fort what it is is it’s a great location for family,” he said. “And the hours of the event today tie in nicely with what’s going on later tonight at Marina Park.”
Draped in maple leaves and other celebratory gear, families packed the wharf along the Kaministiquia River, as cannons boomed in anticipation for the grand arrival. Once the guests of honour, featuring fort doctor John McLoughlin, arrived by canoe a toast to the country was given to great cheers. The crowd then filed its way back to the main square where O Canada was sung before cake was passed around.
The event was also packed with face painting, a petting zoo, canoe rides and arts and crafts. Lisa Audet said she and her family celebrate at the fort because it’s close to their home and her children love the activities, especially face painting.
“We like to come out here and enjoy Canada Day with the rest of Thunder Bay,” she said.
Just as the fort event winds down, Marina Park will pick it back up at 6 p.m. starting with a parade along Water Street. Although last year’s fireworks display was cut short by heavy fog, it appears the weather will cooperate this time as the forecast calls for a few clouds with a low of 13 C.