WATERLOO REGION — As you make plans for the long weekend, there are many Canada Day events scheduled across the region to consider that may be more appealing than making a long haul to the cottage. For the tri-city area, three separate festivals and fireworks displays will be attracting tens of thousands people.
The University of Waterloo is holding its annual daylong celebration beginning at 2 p.m. at Columbia Lake. Events include live music, children’s activities, food vendors and an arts and crafts fair, topped off with an 18-minute fireworks display.
“We have a lot of new groups that are coming around, we have storytelling, we have new bands from last year,” said Tessy George, student and administrative co-ordinator for the celebration.
The downtown Kitchener business improvement area has partnered with the city to host an “Urban Canada Day” in front of city hall starting at 6 p.m., with live music by The Trews and other local artists. Fireworks will be launched off city hall at 10:30 p.m.
The annual fishing derby will launch Canada Day events in Cambridge at 8 a.m. at Riverside Park. The day of festivities will include music, games, a beer garden run by Grand River Brewing and a parade beginning at 1 p.m. at King and Bishop streets. Fireworks are scheduled at the park at dusk.
The Cambridge parade will be aired by Rogers TV at 6 p.m. on Sunday and 3 p.m. on Monday.
New Hamburg is celebrating 30 years of Canada Day festivities at Scott Park. Events for the day range from a car show — registration starts at 10 a.m. — to musical acts and activities for children.
“We have a chap that was on the original committee 30 years ago, he’s going to tell a few stories like about smuggling fireworks across the border 30 years ago,” said festival chair Helen Rempel.
The New Hamburg Board of Trade will also be sponsoring the annual rubber duck race at the park that costs $5 to participate and offers a top prize of $1,000. The celebrations end with a fireworks show that is planned to be bigger than ever before.
Gore Park in Elmira will have live music and activities starting at 4 p.m. with official Canada Day ceremonies and a cake-cutting taking place at 6 p.m.
The 2012 Southern Ontario Firefit Championships will be held at Sportsworld in Kitchener on June 30 and July 1. The event, sponsored by Moose Winooski’s, will feature entertainment by Dave FM, along with midway rides and buskers. Fireworks will be launched Saturday at dusk.
For those looking to set off their own fireworks Sunday night, Waterloo Fire Rescue warns that instructions on fireworks packaging should be read and followed closely, a source of water should be kept close by and that children should be supervised if permitted to hold sparklers.
Where to watch fireworks:
• Columbia Lake, Waterloo at 10 p.m.
• Kitchener City Hall at 10:30 p.m.
• Riverside Park, Cambridge at 9:45 p.m.
• Scott Park, New Hamburg at 9:45 p.m.