Community celebrating Canadian pride July 1

Okotoks: Citizenship ceremony, multicultural food, music planned

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 06:00 am

Max Harrison showed his pride during the Canada Day celebrations at Wylie Park in Okotoks last year
Max Harrison showed his pride during the Canada Day celebrations at Wylie Park in Okotoks last year
Wheel File Photo

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Okotoks will be filled with proud Canadians celebrating our country’s birthday on July 1, with a full line-up of activities planned in the community.

Kicking Canada Day off at 10 a.m., the citizenship ceremony will be returning for the second year, where over 70 people will officially become Canadians. The event is being held outside next to the Okotoks Recreation Centre and is open to the public to attend, even if you’re already a Canadian.

Residents are encouraged to come to the ceremony shortly before 10 a.m. and repeat the oath along with the new citizens to embrace being Canadian. Okotoks community events coordinator Mark Doherty said the citizenship ceremony is a moment that all Canadians can take pride in.

“Last year was incredible,” he said. “You always get a little proud to be a Canadian certainly on Canada day, but just to see the delighted faces of those who had been trying for a number of years and finally became Canadians. They were so grateful for that.”

Following the citizenship ceremony at 11:20 a.m. Mayor Bill Robertson will be leading a recreational walk around Okotoks until noon when the rest of the festivities begin outside of the recreation centre.

Six Canada Day cakes will be cut and served, as well as free samplings of ethnic foods from nine different countries. The crowds will be entertained by a variety of cultural performances, starting with a routine from First Nations dance troupe Thundering Nations, as well as Bollywood dancers and other musical performers.

Doherty said the day is a chance to celebrate the multiculturalism that defines our nation’s identity.

“This is an opportunity to really showcase what it is to be Canadian,” he said. “We’re a melting pot of many cultures and we certainly embrace other cultures and that’s why we are so blessed.”

Last year’s events were a great example of that as Doherty said Okotoks had embraced many people into town after the flood of June 2013.

“We were still running our (emergency) reception centre due to the floods and a number of our displaced workers were minorities,” he said. “So, to see their faces and for them to come out and celebrate being a Canadian and so happy that everyone was so good to them and they were treated so well, it was really a neat thing to see.”

In addition to the food and entertainment, there will be bouncy castles, face painting and crafts for the kids to partake in until 3 p.m. In addition to the events outside of the recreation centre, folks are invited inside for a free family swim from 11:30 to 1:30p.m. and a free public swim from 2 to 4 p.m.

As for the evening, The Okotoks Dawgs will be hosting the Melville Millionaires at 7:05 p.m., which will be followed by celebratory fireworks after the game. For more information on the festivities visit www.okotoks.ca


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