Get out your patriotic hats and your best Canada Day outfits for Mission's annual national holiday celebration at Fraser River Heritage Park on Sunday.
The day will be filled with fun activities, entertainment, food and heart-warming community spirit for all ages. Some highlights are the impressive Mission Municipal Forest Loggers show, the cute canines of Matsqui Flyball Agility and the one-man circus and entertainer, Piper McKenzie.
The day begins with a Mission Optimist Club pancake breakfast from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. with day-long festivities starting at 10 a.m.
Bouncy castles, pony rides, a giant climbing wall, juggling workshops, police and firefighter challenges, gladiator jousting and watermelon eating contest are just some of the many attractions and activities happening throughout the day.
The flag-raising ceremony is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and yes, there will be cake. The day is hosted by the Mission Heritage Association in partnership with the District of Mission and several sponsors, to bring the community together to share their appreciation for our beautiful nation and to showcase local talents.
"We are lifting the lid this year on local talent," said Mission Tim Hortons owner Lee Adams. "This is our fifth year as a corporate sponsor. Being able to bring some of our area's most promising entertainers to the event and see the community come together to celebrate is really important to us as an active business in the community and a corporation that has a strong national presence."
Celebrants should keep an eye on the community stage, where an ongoing stream of performers will show their stuff. Some of these are Fiddlin' Frenzy, banghra dancers (you can join along), Wee Wigglers, the Ace All-star cheerleaders, Harma White and Mission's Got Talent competitors.
The Ten Souljers, one of Vancouver's top party bands, are the headliners and they will be guaranteed to keep people dancing when they take the stage at 8:30 p.m. The day concludes with fireworks at about 10 p.m. - the best place to see them will be from the park.
"This event has something for everyone and promises to be very interactive," said Mark Sutherland, Mission Heritage Association's special event coordinator. "With so much to see and do and a fantastic lineup of bands and entertainment, this event is not to be missed."
Make sure you also take a good look at the two new Sto:lo houseposts near the park entrance, carved by Sumas First Nations artist Raphael Silver, and sponsored by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Mission's Canada Day event is free to the community and it will be on rain or shine, so remember to dress for the weather. There is lots of parking, and it will be by donation.
- Fraser River Heritage Park is at 7494 Mary St., Mission. From Stave Lake Street turn east on Fifth Avenue and go two blocks. Follow details on Twitter @MissionCDC, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MissionCanadaDay or www.mission.ca/canada.