Lukas Olsen (from left) of WestCoast Tug & Barge

Canada Day set to explode in Campbell River

As in the past, this year’s Canada Day celebrations promise something for everyone

As in the past, this year’s Canada Day celebrations promise something for everyone.

Most of the line-up will fall in line with previous Canada Day weekend extravaganzas, but some special guests will make this year’s event even better.

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Campbell River’s sister city relationship with Ishikari, delegates from the Japanese city will take part in the parade and will speak at the opening ceremonies which take place at 5:30 p.m. at Robert Ostler Park.

But prior to that, a salmon barbecue sponsored by Quality Foods and Grieg Seafood kicks off the Canada Day weekend, starting at 5 p.m. at Spirit Square on the Sunday night before Canada Day.

The Night Before Celebration also includes the car show, presented by Tyee Chevrolet, also beginning at 5 p.m.

On July 1, the popular Kids Fest, complete with games, crafts, and face painting, returns.

“Last year we put 4,000 kids through Kids Fest,” said Carol Chapman, chair of the Canada Day Committee.

“They came out, they had fun and it didn’t cost their parents a dime.”

The Hospital Bed Races are also back by popular demand and this year, 20 beds are expected to race down a 150 metre course on Shoppers Row.

The event raises money for the Campbell River Hospital Foundation and the Campbell River Daybreak Rotary Club.

In the last two years combined, the bed races have raised more than $21,000 for both local charities.

Also zooming down Shoppers Row will be the belt sander races, right outside the CIBC bank.

While those events take over the downtown core, seniors will be treated to cake and tea donated by Quality Foods, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Museum.

The Canada Day parade begins at 4 p.m. and is expected to have more than 300 participants.

Following the parade, 5,000 cupcakes will be given away at the start of the opening ceremonies which will feature live music all afternoon and evening on the Eagle Telus stage.

“We party all night long until 10:22 when of course the fireworks start (at Robert Ostler Park),” Chapman said.

Other Canada Day events include: Transformations on the Shore wood carving contest; dragon boat regatta (June 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Dick Murphy Park); Ridgerider’s western duds contest-June 30; Canada Day morning pancake breakfast; afternoon Canada Day cake with legion pipe band (Frank James Park); Mike McInnes Memorial Cup Skateboard Competition (Willow Point Park); fishing derby (Discovery Fishing Pier); E&B Helicopter Rides; Canada Day markets; an  animal exhibit; and Bryan’s Smile Mile which will run alongside the Canada Day parade route.