Saturday, July 07, 2012

Canada Day in Montreal

My day in Montreal happened to be Canada Day, which added a whole other element and colour to the city. The long weekend around the national day allowed me to take the trip to see the main three cities to the east of Toronto, and also gave me a glimpse into Canadians' sense of national pride and patriotism.

There was barely a person, by the end of the day, who was not sporting a little Canada flag sticking out of some part of their outfit. Many people had had a flag transferred to their face via paint or temp tattoo. Almost all people, from all racial identifications, had combined red and white into their dress choices for the day.

Having spotted the details of the Canada Day Parade, I ensured I was in town in the right spot for it, hoping for the type of celebration the Irish put on. Alas, Canada is much like Australia in that this parade has become a chance for every brass band and scout group in the greater city limits to take part. It still enchanted the kids and the oldies!

The fireworks at the end of the day when it finally got dark, were actually pretty impressive! The crowd gathered along the Old Port, facing out to the river, and were enthralled by the bursts of light shot out into the night air.

For this observer who usually finds a fireworks display rather less worthy of the hype around it, the features of this particular show were unique and very cool. There were fireworks used that went off to look like a huge coloured hydrangeas in the sky, and then had a layer of smaller wispy dandylion-like bursts in the centre. So pretty!

The patriotic colours also featured heavily, of course, with rings of coloured dots being created in the sky. The finale created a lengthy arrangement of golden sparkler-like sprinkles in the air, and kept rejuvenating it as they extinguished and fell to the water. Again, very impressive.

Happy Canada Day for the weekend just gone to all Canadians, and thanks for having me in your country for this time, this day, and this awesome Summer!

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