Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bonne Fête du Canada!

This was a lower-key Canada Day than last year, when I got to meet Willie O'Ree and Husband got his photo taken with Miss Canada International.

Of course, there's no such thing as a bad Canada Day, and we started out by hanging the flag in the windows of the sun porch. Official Family Canadian Flag Inspector Veronica said "Yor doin it wrong" until we got it right.

After going out for lunch we went downtown to "Canada's Biggest Block Party" which filled Officer's square and spilled across Ste.-Anne's Point Drive onto about a quarter-km of the green that borders the river. This is an early shot of Officer's Square, which was packed full of people later in the afternoon.

The thunderclouds were ominous all day but it never actually rained on our parade :)

Maple Leaf tattoos are a great way to get some attention on the country's birthday, as this patriotic bulldog quickly found out.

Before the parade, we happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch the Changing of the Guard at the Guardhouse, which happens a couple of times a day in the summer.

It was cool today - just 21°c - which I'm sure these young people were grateful for. They wear these authentic reproduction wool serge uniforms all day every day during the summer - whether the temperature is 21°c, or 45°c!

At 4 pm the parade came by. As in previous years, the parade more and more reflects my community's growing diversity, which means that getting up and going in to work every morning isn't completely in vain :) Here's the Multicultural Assocation of Fredericton group...

The Filipino Association was several times larger this time than last year. They've really grown!

Similarly, the Korean Association had a much larger contingent, this year complete with drummers and chanters.

The Chinese Cultural Association of NB is always a colourful and professional group. They had fan dancers, a Chinese drummer, and not one, but two dragons this year.

There was also a peace group in the parade this year, walking with signs saying "Bring the Troops Home" and "Canada out of Afghanistan" and so on. I thought I'd taken photos of them but apparently I didn't push the digital cam's button hard enough, so I don't have any shots of them. I muttered to Husband that it took some balls to march in the parade; outright opposition to the mission is still something most Canadians are ambivalent, if not very uncomfortable, about. (For comparison, imagine an anti-Iraq-war group marching in a 4th of July parade - if they got permission.) "They'll take some abuse," I said. "Nah," Husband said. "But they won't get very much applause." Almost amusingly, two groups behind them was a group of serving soldiers. "I think one of the events at the end of the parade is, the soldiers beat up the peace activists," I joked. All of which I mention to illustrate how, well, nervously ambivalent we are about all this right now.

It was a low-key day, but a good day.

And it will be, until 10:00 tonight - when the fireworks start - and the cats freak out.

As I do every Canada Day, I think of the Kinks' lyrics - not as they were meant, I'm afraid, but unironically:

"I was born/lucky me
in a land/that I love."

Happy Canada Day, everyone!




Blogger Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Happy Canada Day!

Downy is afraid of fireworks, but brave bitchy little Graymatter will run at the windows growling. And then has to endure our laughing at her teeny squeaky little growl.

11:38 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

I am starting to think of Graymatter as a bit of a cat goddess; the She to the Black Freighter's He.

Teeny, squeaky little growls or not. ;)

8:56 p.m.  

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