by Morinville News Staff
Morinville – Red and white will be proudly displayed July 1 when the Morinville Historical and Cultural Society raise the flag in honour of Canada’s 147th birthday. After an absence of many years, the society took on a community Canada Day celebration in 2011 and grew the event in 2012 and 2013.
Although the event has grown in size and participation, organizer Murray Knight says patriotism and a sense of community remains at its core. “I’m very proud to live in Morinville and I volunteer because I live here,” Knight said. “For the people that made our country, made our town, made our future – it’s just a thank you.”
Knight said the society is proud to be part of Canada Day and ensuring all citizens are aware of Morinville’s past as a community, how the country evolved, and the work effort and sacrifices forefathers had to put up with to achieve what the nation has today.
Remembering Canada’s history and enjoying what it means to be Canadian will once again unfold itself in St. Jean Baptiste Park, where the event began again four years ago with a modest picnic in the park, the raising of the flag, and the singing of the National Anthem.
Although the Canadian flag will rise overhead, residents can look to their feet for another reminder of the day. Organizers are planning to once again place a small Canadian flag on the lawn of every home in Morinville. “We had 3,500 little red flags delivered by the federal government a couple weeks ago and we’re putting together our flag campaign. We have our flags. We have our routes. We have our maps,” Knight said.
The Canada Day event starts at noon with an old-fashioned picnic in the park. Opening ceremonies will start at 12:45 p.m., followed by the raising of the flag and the singing of O Canada in English and French at 1 p.m. A hot dog lunch will be served at noon and cake, ice cream and watermelon will be served following the ceremonies. Children’s activities, including face painting and bouncy castles will take place alongside musical entertainment and games from noon until 2:30 p.m. Closing ceremonies and prize giveaways will take place at 3 p.m. The day will conclude with a fireworks display around 10:45 p.m.
Knight and his volunteers are hoping people will come out and support the event. “It’s a nice day to come out for three hours and enjoy a day in the park in downtown Morinville,” he said.