Originally published on theobserver.ca
June 7, 2016
On June 25, Bright’s Grove is set to lead off local Canada Day celebrations with a parade, family activities in Kenwick Park and a free evening concert by Scott Manery and The Barnburners.
The annual early Canada Day events are a long-running project of the Optimist Club of Bright’s Grove, and are scheduled ahead of July 1 to avoid conflicting with Sarnia’s Canada Day celebrations.
“We hold it the week before so everyone can come out and enjoy it, and have a pre-Canada Day Canada Day,” said club member Aaron Robb.
“We’re hoping for some good weather,” he added.
Last year’s Canada Day in Bright’s Grove had to be canceled when heavy rain and winds blew through the area.
This year’s Bright’s Grove Canada Day parade will form up at 10 a.m. at Wildwood Park, and is set to leave at 11 a.m. for Kenwick Park.
There are prizes for entries, including decorated family pets and bicycles that are a tradition at the parade.
“The dogs get all decked out in red and white, and flags,” Robb said.
Kids also decorate their bikes and ride the parade route, along with floats, vintage fire trucks and cars, Shriner mini cars and other entries.
All children taking part in the parade receive free pop and hotdogs.
From noon to 3 p.m., family activities in Kenwick Park are set to include entertainment, games, a carnival with swings, inflatables and a climbing wall, vendors, a barbecue, and more.
“Over the whole day, there’s probably a few thousands who come for the parade, for the concert and for the events in the afternoon,” Robb said.
The early Canada Day is the service club’s biggest event of the year.
“It’s at the prime time for Bright’s Grove,” Robb said.
“It’s when all of the cottages are full.”
The evening concert, running 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., echoes the days when dance bands played the former Kenwick on the Lake in Bright’s Grove, and is even held on the spot once occupied by the dance hall.
“It’s just a fun, everyone-brings-their-own-lawn-chair kind of concert,” Robb said.
The alcohol-free event attracts families who come to watch the sun set over the lake while enjoying the music.
“The Barnburners are a really fun country band,” Robb said.
“There will be dancing all over the place, I’m sure.”