From Belleville to Brockville, Ont., and all points in between, Canada Day 2020 will be a whole different celebration.
In Kingston, the coronavirus pandemic means a lot of those familiar events just won’t happen this year.
The large Canadian flag hanging above the entrance to Kingston city hall is one of very few things that remain the same during this time of covid. Other activities like the Red abnd White People Parade and the Mayor’s Award ceremony will not take place.
“Because things look and feel so much differently, we are encouraging people to experience Canada Day in ways that feel both safe and meaningful to them,” said Jaclyn Grimmon, recreation programs manager with the city.
Grimmon says there’s no reason not to celebrate the nation’s birthday, it just won’t have all the attractions of the past.
“No there won’t be fireworks this year,” Grimmon said.
“Certainly, as we continue to adjust to the new health regulations, we are providing different programming opportunities both virtually and again, those calls to action for people to get out safely and meaningfully experience the local businesses that have reopened.
Grimmon says if there’s a Canada Day message, it’s this: stay local, shop local, and if you’re downtown, there’s a place for you to relax.
“We are setting up Springer Market Square with different bistro style seating. We’ll have music going, so if people are downtown and are visiting the local businesses, visiting the restaurants and patios and to pick up takeout or ice cream … certainly they’ve some place to come with physical distance and enjoy that in a safe and clean environment.”
The city, along with partners from Downtown Kingston and Tourism Kingston, have provided some Canada Day inspiration in the form of an online rendition of “O Canada,” sung by a number of local artists including Paul Langlois and Miss Emily.