by Morinville News Staff
Red and white will be proudly displayed July 1 when the Morinville Historical and Cultural Society raise the flag in honour of Canada’s 148th birthday. The Society picked up the ball on a dormant Canada Day festival in 2011 and are now planning their fifth event.
Although the festivities and participation have grown, organizer Murray Knight says patriotism and a sense of community remain at its core.
“I’m happy,” Knight said. “I’m happy because I live in a community that people do care, and there are a lot of prideful people in the community.”
Once again the celebration will carry the family picnic in the park theme, something of personal importance to Knight. “It’s the ability to bring families out,” he said. “When you can sit at things as a grandma and grandpa, moms and dads — that’s all it is. It’s about families.”
Knight and his committee are hoping to see lots of people out to this year’s event that coincides with the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald and the 50th celebration of our maple leaf flag. Knight said the four flags that have flown in Canada over the years would be on display during the event.
This year’s event starts at noon with a free hot dog lunch supplied by Morinville Town Council. Opening ceremonies will commence at 12:45 p.m. and include the raising of the flag and singing of the National Anthem at 1 p.m. The serving of cake, ice cream and watermelon will follow the formal portion of the event. Other activities include face painting, bouncy castles, games and live music in the park from noon until 2:30 p.m.
But long before the Canadian flag rises overhead, residents can look to their feet for another reminder of the day. Organizers are planning to place small Canadian flags on the lawn of every home in Morinville once again. Anyone interested in volunteering to place flags overnight can contact Knight at 780-939-3925.
Although this year’s St. Jean Baptiste Festival was devoid of fireworks, this year’s Canada Day festivities will include them. However, those expecting to watch the fireworks from the comfort of their decks may be disappointed. Knight said this year’s display will be shot off at a lower elevation and that people are encouraged to view them closer to the Morinville Public School grounds where they will be launched. Fireworks are scheduled to be let off at 10:45 p.m.