Canada Day celebrations were happening all over the city Tuesday as Edmontonians rushed to take advantage of the summer sunshine.

In the river valley, the celebration was twofold as the Valley Zoo celebrated both Canada day and its 55th birthday.

Among those celebrating was Katagan Zhumagulov, who moved to Edmonton from Kyrgyzstan two years ago.

"It's an amazing place. It's been great," said Zhumagulov when asked how the Canadian experience had been.

Upriver, more than 2,500 people gathered at Fort Edmonton Park – including some new Canadians who officially gained citizenship today.

"For me … it's a big big opportunity," said Amir Hussain, who applied for citizenship in 2009.

Originally from Pakistan, Hussain said when it came to picking his new country it was an easy decision.

"The best country in the world is Canada, so that's why I applied to come here to become a Canadian citizen."

A very large flag

Elsewhere in Edmonton, another family spent Canada Day celebrating 10 years in their adopted country.

“It was extremely cold that day. It was snowy and we just came and thought where are we? Did we make the right decision?” said Sangeeta Chalwa of their arrival in Toronto.

“At first we came, there was a lot of struggle in settling and all that stuff,” added her husband Sanjeev Chalwa.

Sanjeev Chalwa

Wishing to show his Canadian pride, Sanjeev Chalwa's family purchased an 800 square foot Canadian flag, which was unveiled with the help of friends and neighbours on Canada Day. (CBC)

But now, a decade in, the couple said they know they made the right decision – and wanted to celebrate that in a big way by purchasing an 800 square foot Canadian flag.

The flag was so large it took 25 people, including friends, family and neighbours, to hold.

Asked why he wanted to buy such a large Canadian flag, Sanjeev said it was simple.

“We as Canadians we think big. That's the idea behind it – big in everything.”

This year’s flag day was such a success, they are thinking of getting an even bigger flag next year.


If you haven't already made plans for the day, check out our list of events happening in and around the city.

Then, send us your pictures showing how you and your family are spending your holiday and we'll add them to our gallery.

Email photos to us at webedmonton@cbc.ca or Tweet us @CBCEdmonton