Chilliwack celebrated Canada Day basking in the warm glow of a full moon on Wednesday night.
“Look what Mother Nature gave you tonight, look at that beautiful moon!” emcee Trevor McDonald told the crowds at Townsend Park, as the sun went down and the moon rose over Mt. Cheam. “You can’t plan a backdrop like that, ladies and gentleman.”
The Canada Day celebrations were a resounding success, with food trucks and community organizations making use of the parking lot, and about 7,000 people eventually making their way into the park areas and artificial turf field.
Children were invited to have their faces painted, ride the Rotary Train, or take part in activities like potato sack races, set up by the Chilliwack YMCA. Earlier in the day, firefighters soaked down the rubber turf to cool it, and set up a spray area which kept the children’s zone a bit cooler.
It all got started at about 5 p.m., with a beautiful performance of the national anthem by 10-year-old Maya Earl. That led into sets by the Curbside Traditional Jazz Band, Todd Richard, Haley Chase and the Fever, and finally Bobby Bruce and his band, Canadian A.
But the entertainment didn’t stop there. Aerial acrobatics were performed by members of The Goddess Movement. And topping off the night was a special performance by the Cascadia Wind Ensemble. The 25-piece group of local musicians brought the fireworks show to new level, playing symphony selections at the base of the stage, and amplified for all to hear with the help of Go Audio.
The heat of the day kept the crowds smaller at the outset of the evening, but as sun went down the fields filled with festive families ready to celebrate Canada Day.
Among all the dignitaries and musical acts to hit the stage, there was one very special guest who had a moment in the spotlight.
After McDonald, Bobby Bruce and his band, and the Cascadia Wind Ensemble led the crowds through O’Canada, it was time for the annual fireworks show.
Eve Couling, 99, was invited on stage to press the button to get it all started.
With a beaming smile, and her daughter at her side, Couling pressed the button and the countdown to the 20-minute fireworks show began.
The entire five five and a half hour party was streamed live by VBN, and that video is still online on the Canada Day page of the City of Chilliwack’s website.