Take a ‘Staycation’ in Chilliwack for Canada Day

Enjoy family fun on Canada Day with plenty of games, food trucks, bands and fireworks and more in downtown Chilliwack on July 1.

Celebrate Canada Day with a full day of family fun in downtown Chilliwack on July 1. Enjoy kids shows

Celebrate Canada Day with a full day of family fun in downtown Chilliwack on July 1. Enjoy kids shows

Canada Day Celebrations in Chilliwack are going to be top-notch once again this year. The full-day festivities unfold downtown on Friday, July 1.

Organizer Trevor McDonald is taking the lead for the second year in a row. While many former Canada Day events in Chilliwack focused on only the evening or daytime portions, the entire day will be chock-full of fun for 2016.

“This is the best of everything. This is it – the big kahuna,” McDonald said of next Friday’s activities.

The day will start with a $5 Kiwanis pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at Evergreen Hall, featuring the Chilliwack Community Band and local dignitaries.

The Grandstand greenspace behind the Cultural Centre is booked full of family fun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring an entertainment stage with solo artists, dance studios and the popular Rosie Ribbonstar childrens shows.

The Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre has a free swim and other events, the Prospera Centre will host a free skate from noon to 2 p.m., and the Chilliwack Arts Council will provide face painting and plenty of kids activities.

Local business The Truth Skate & Snow will host a ‘Skate Jam’ in the skate park from 1 to 3 p.m.  They’ll crank up the music, have skate demos, a trick contest and prizes to win for all ages.

The Chilliwack Heritage Society will be playing traditional kids games, like three-legged races, sack races and more from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Grandstand field.

While the kids are having fun, parents can browse through the market in the middle of the field with a great variety of more than 20 vendors. Various static displays such as military and fire department vehicles, bouncy castles and food vendors will be on-site all day.

After a brief break for kids to take an afternoon nap, the gates open to Townsend Park at 5 p.m. for the exciting evening party portion of the event.

The party includes the YMCA Kids Zone, featuring face painting, crafts, and all kinds of games to keep the young ones busy.

The Chartwell Senior Zone will have special bleacher seating, tents and Chartwell reps on-hand to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for seniors. Parking for buses from all senior centres in the Valley will provide easy access to the festivities.

Bring blankets and come down early to enjoy a fantastic variety of food vendors and sample great local food from the Wildcat Grill, Shandhar Hut, Guerilla Q, The Tin Cow and more.

After visiting the food trucks, bring your lawn chairs and blankets onto the football field to enjoy the acts on the Chances Entertainment Stage. The entertainment launches at 6 p.m., with opening remarks from local dignitaries and First Nations representatives.

Our national anthem will lead the crowd into a fantastic selection of entertainers. Bob Tarr & the Jazz Banditz (6 p.m.), Rockabilly Jay and the Cadillac Bones (7 p.m.), the Kieran Mercer Band (8 p.m.) and long-time favourites Appaloosa (9 p.m.), will hit the stage throughout the evening.

“We have a great mix of bands again this year,” McDonald said. The killer jazz, intense rockabilly, pop with local back-up, country and classic rock will set the tone for the highlight of the evening – the biggest fireworks display in the Fraser Valley.

Put together again by Kevan Siggs, the “monster” fireworks show at 10 p.m. will be accompanied by the 25-piece Cascadia Wind Ensemble, creating Chilliwack’s own Symphony of Fire.

This year’s event will be a true Canadian celebration of family, friends, food and fun. McDonald encourages everyone to embrace the summer staycation in Chilliwack. With Fortins Vintage Classic Car Show this Sunday, Canada Day festivities, Party in the Park taking us all through July, and the Chilliwack Fair and Airshow lighting up in August, you don’t have to travel to enjoy awesome events.

“I want Chilliwack to stick around. They just have to go as far as their own backyard to catch great entertainment,” McDonald said.

RCMP, Griffin Security and Streetwise Traffic Control will all be on site to ensure a safe, family friendly celebration.  The show is set to close at 10:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to take public transit or to carpool.

The event is sponsored by the City of Chilliwack, Prospera Credit Union, the O’Connor Group, Chances Chilliwack, and McDonald Entertainment.

Visit chilliwack.ca/canadaday for a more detailed schedule of the day and evening entertainment, as well as a full map with parking locations and event volunteer application forms.

Join the conversation using hashtag #staycationCHWK.