Caroll Borg wears a traditional dress from the region of West Telemark in Norway when she dances with the Scandinavian folk group Fanatullen. She says it’s unfortunate this year’s Canada Day festivities have been crimped by COVID-19. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Caroll Borg wears a traditional dress from the region of West Telemark in Norway when she dances with the Scandinavian folk group Fanatullen. She says it’s unfortunate this year’s Canada Day festivities have been crimped by COVID-19. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Canada Day in Red Deer adjusted for COVID-19

Fireworks will still light up the sky

Wafting aromas from international food booths won’t be drawing crowds to Bower Ponds on Canada Day.

But the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society’s annual Canada Day celebration will go online at 1 p.m. for a virtual event on its Facebook page. And fireworks will be shot high into the sky at 11 p.m. from Westerner Park, which people are encouraged to watch from home.

Society board member Caroll Borg said it’s strange to shut down the usual July 1 festivities, which can attract as many as 15,000 people throughout the day.

“Normally, it’s an amazing day. It’s a community party. Being altogether, it’s just a wonderful atmosphere, and I hope we’ll have that again next year,” Borg said.

About a dozen Canada Day booths that sell a variety of cultural foods often have lineups for their unique specialties. Borg used to co-ordinate the Swedish food booth.

“That was always lots of work, but it was so fun to be there. Tiring, but fun,” said Borg, who now serves up pie and ice cream for the heritage society.

Borg is also a dancer with the Scandinavian folk dance group Fanatullen, one of about six to 10 dance groups that usually entertain the crowd and remind Red Deerians of all the cultures that make up their community.

She said Westerner Days brings a lot of people together, but Canada Day at Bower Ponds is a unique event that celebrates community spirit, international cultures and the nation’s Indigenous populations.

Related:

Despite pandemic, country figuring out different ways to celebrate Canada Day

Photos: Canada Day celebrations in Red Deer a testament to diversity, culture

Society president Rob Ironside said it’s disappointing to cancel Red Deer’s traditional Canada Day event, but hopefully, the fireworks will cheer up residents after months of COVID-19 restrictions.

He said a lot of people don’t realize it’s the society that hosts the fireworks, and also operates Cronquist House, which was built in the early 1800s and opens for the season Thursday.

“Over the past number of years, people have been looking at it as a destination. We even have people booking from out of town. It’s definitely part of the culture of Red Deer,” Ironside said about the tea house at Bower Ponds.

He said the society is facing some financial challenges and that more people need to be aware that supporting the society is important to keeping traditions, such as the Canada Day event, alive, said Ironside.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Canada Day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Innisfail RCMP arrest man following ‘lengthy pursuit’

Innisfail RCMP say a “lengthy pursuit” through a rural area ended with… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.
Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying… Continue reading

(Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Mask bylaws not popular in rural areas

Red Deer and Blackfalds bylaws requiring masks in public places kick in on Monday

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from a reporter during a bi-weekly news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

This photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program until its disbanding in the early 2000s was “assassinated” Friday, state television said. (Fars News Agency via AP)
Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 file photo shows Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as Pope Francis, right, arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The longtime head of the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn said Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, that a ruling by the Supreme Court that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus is a “good decision” that guarantees constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool, File)
Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

A shopper is shown walking by a store display advertising a Boxing Day sale in Ottawa on Dec. 26, 2013. Black Friday, the one-day shopping bonanza known for its big bargains and large crowds, has arrived. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
A subdued Black Friday at retailers amid COVID-19 pandemic as sales move online

A subdued Black Friday at retailers amid COVID-19 pandemic as sales move online

Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge answers questions during a interview at the Bank of Canada headquarters in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge says Canada must shift its attention to investing for economic growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn over the next few years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Growth investing needed as pandemic wanes, says former BoC governor David Dodge

Growth investing needed as pandemic wanes, says former BoC governor David Dodge

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals face pressure for concrete ideas, economic plan in spending update

Liberals face pressure for concrete ideas, economic plan in spending update

Bay Street in Canada's financial district is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite index rises as loonie jumps above 77 cents US

S&P/TSX composite index rises as loonie jumps above 77 cents US

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Most Read