Get ready for Sidney Days

Long list of events planned for the Canada Day long weekend

Crowd members waiting excitedly for the 2012 Sidney Canada Day parade to begin. This year's parade happens Monday

When it comes to honouring Canada, the Peninsula Celebrations Society has got it all together.

The fun begins Sunday night, June 30 and continues all day on Canada Day Monday, July 1. Society president Sheilah Fea says their volunteers are ready to go, as are the many sponsor businesses and organizations that make the annual Sidney Days such a success.

“It’s looking good,” Fea said before the festivities began.

The Canada Day parade down Beacon Avenue has 75 floats, performers and community groups signed up, said Fea. It’s not as big as last year (81 floats) but Fea said their goal is to keep the parade to about an hour to ensure families have the energy to take in many more events.

“It’s really amazing, people start lining up for the parade at 8:30 or 9 in the morning. That’s a long day for families already.”

Fea said she was putting the finishing touches on a few events this week — including confirmation of a military helicopter fly-by over Iroqouis Park at around 1 p.m. Monday.

“It will get down to around 500 feet over the park,” Fea said.

That’s also where the Sidney Days Family Fun Fair events take place from noon to 4 p.m. New this year, she continued, is a variety of kids’ games —from a hamster ball you can ride in, to bean bag rocket launchers provided by Games To You. This year’s food eating contest features watermelon and cupcakes (the board of the society is making the cupcakes this year, Fea said) and promises to be a great time.

There will be a few changes this year. Fea said people out to watch the Slegg Lumber Build-A-Quick-Boat race will be moved back from the edge of the beach — to ensure no one is struck by a paddle from one of the many three-person teams of amateur boat builders. Fea said that events usually gets between 4,000 and 5,000 people watching and cheering when the boats tip and their riders take a swim.

The coast guard will be on hand to help ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

“Some of the boat builders are getting too good,” Fea said. “People do look for the spills and dunks.

“For some of the guys it’s all about winning. They are even building prototypes before the actual race.”

The weekend of family events kicks off tonight with a community dinner from 4:30 to 6 p.m., with music, the mayor’s address, a citizenship re-affirmation ceremony and the singing of O Canada.

Then, at around 10 p.m., there will be fireworks.

A barge off of the Sidney waterfront will launch fireworks set to music — opening with Canada’s other national anthem, the Hockey Night in Canada theme.

For the full schedule of events, stop by the Peninsula News Review office to pick up a copy of our Sidney Days supplement, or visit www.peninsulacelebrations.ca.