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Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday

Image credit: Jason Payne / Pacific Press News Group

I had originally intended on going to Burnaby Village Museum for Dominion Day birthday cake. When I found out that it would take an hour and a half to get there by bus, I rethought how I would spend my July 1st holiday. I replanned, opting not to stray too far from downtown Vancouver. Go to Granville Island to see their Canada Day Parade, come home for some downtime on the balcony, prepare dinner and Moscow mules back on the balcony, then off to Coal Harbour for some fireworks.

I thought I left in plenty of time to get to Granville Island and head to Johnston St. where the parade was to start at 1:30 p.m. I arrived at the front entrance at around 2:15 p.m. and saw two parked flots and some people who had obviously taken part in the parade. The place was a happy madhouse. Lots of kids with painted faces, clutching paper flags. I wandered around some booths, both inside Granville Public Market and outside, searching for some small Canadian flags, but no luck. I stayed for about a couple of hours, doing my traditional Granville Island thing of planning to go to a specific place and then never arriving because I keep getting lost.

However, homemade chili over rice on the balcony accompanied by Moscow Mules (sorry CBSh, I didn’t have limes so I used lemons) did not disappoint. I was ready to brave the Canda Day crowds of Coal Harbour.

The fireworks were scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m., so I left the house at 9 o’clock to allow time for walking around and exploring before the show began. After two full buses passed by, I was determined to get on the next one that showed up, no matter what the signage said. I arrived just seconds before the first volley of fireworks lit up the sky. I was having a good time until:

  • a gaggle of young women behind me kept bumping into me while taking copious selfies
  • the same gaggle of women decided to move closer to the front, shoving me out of the way; I went flying and banged my shoulder up against a gentleman 14 feet tall who looked down on me like I was an annoying fly
  • all the people in front of raised their arms with phones attached to record/take pictures of the fireworks

I ended up watching a lot of the action on the gadgets around me when I wasn’t crabbing from side to side in an attempt to get a better view of the fireworks. Still, it was an impressive display lasting twenty minutes. Since I usually watch the Coal Harbour Canada Day fireworks by hanging out of the window and watching them in the reflection of the buildings I can see from my apartment, it was worth being there in person.


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