Ruth Mills photo In 2020, we won’t be able to celebrate Canada Day as close as this group photo from 2019, but Festivals Kitimat are hard at work coming up with some events nevertheless.

‘Most Patriotic House’ Competition, community video among Kitimat’s 2020 Canada Day celebration plans

Canada Day celebrations are going to look different this year amidst social distancing rules.

This year’s Canada Day is set to be a little different than past years, Festivals Kitimat said, but no less fun.

With the ongoing pandemic, Festivals Kitimat said activities for this year’s Canada Day celebrations were designed to allow people to socially distance, while still being able to participate in fun, patriotic events.

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Festivals Kitimat coordinator Sara Besler said planning for this year’s festivities was tricky, as they had to ensure people could participate while still maintaining a socially acceptable distance from one another.

“I feel like it’s been pretty tough,” Besler said. “I want to say that we have all these great ideas, but then when it comes down to it it’s like, oh, we can’t do that.”

In past years, the day has started with a pancake breakfast, followed by a parade, and then a food and craft fair and activities around town. There are helicopter rides, mazes, the giant Girl Guides’ cake, and fireworks to end off the night.

“That’s what Canada Day usually looks like in Kitimat,” Besler said, “but unfortunately not in 2020.”

But Besler said not to fear, as Festivals Kitimat has still been planning a variety of fun events that adhere to social distancing rules. Activities this year include a socially-distant town scavenger hunt, a game of Canadian trivia, cookie decorating kits, and a colouring contest to name a few.

Residents also have the opportunity to send in a photo or video of themselves and their families showing off their Canada Pride, to be featured in a community video put together by Festivals Kitimat.

“We’re a pretty great community,” Besler said. “We’re great when we come together, so I’m hoping the video will lift everybody’s spirits up.”

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One of the biggest activities for this year’s celebrations, however, is the “Most Patriotic House” competition. Residents are encouraged to decorate their houses in red and white and all things Canadian, and the best decorated houses will win a prize. This way, Besler said, it allows people to still get festive and celebrate, while also sticking to social distancing regulations.

Besler said she knows it will be hard with things being so different this year, as people are used to getting together and celebrating as a community, but she hopes the activities they have planned will still allow people to celebrate Canada Day with loved ones.

“It won’t be the same, but we’re trying our best.” Besler said. “People can’t come to the celebrations this year, so as much as possible, we’re going to bring the celebrations to you.”

For more information on all the events taking place this Canada Day, head to the Festivals Kitimat website.

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