How Islanders can mark Canada Day, the COVID-19 edition
‘We're the birthplace of Confederation, so we should do something’
With lobster trap trees replacing fireworks and virtual broadcasts in place of mass crowds, Canada Day celebrations on Prince Edward Island will be a bit different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The onset of Phase 4 of reopening last Friday means larger gatherings are now allowed if physical distancing is maintained. Some communities are getting creative to make sure all protocols are followed.
P.E.I.'s capital city considered options that included cancelling festivities, said Kevin Ramsay, the chair of economic development, tourism and attractions in P.E.I. "But we said, 'No, we're the birthplace of Confederation, so we should do something.'"
"This is our way of doing it."
Charlottetown will air two pre-taped shows on their social media channels. The first is called Woah! Canada and will begin at 11 a.m. It will include crafts, baking, music and storytelling. The second, starting at 7:30 p.m., is called #charlottetown and will feature local performers, guests and chefs.
Charlottetown is also in the middle of a Canada Day home decorating contest. Judges will be out today and tomorrow to determine the winner of the three categories: best overall, kid's choice and eco-friendly.
Summerside has moved its annual Civic Ceremony to the city's YouTube page. This will include the awarding of the 2020 Citizen of the Year honour and the C. Ross Mackenzie Contribution to Canada Day award live at 1 p.m on July 1st.
The city has also organized a home decorating contest and a scavenger hunt that will begin at 8 a.m.
Mitchell Shea, the marketing and promotions coordinator at Credit Union Place in Summerside, said someone will win a membership to Credit Union Place or registration for one child to fall programming of their choice which includes minor hockey, figure skating or swimming.
"Ensuring that we were still able to offer something to the residents and celebrate with them, it's important to the city to do so," said Shea.
The Town of Stratford will still hand out its local strawberries and ice cream treats. But this year, they will pass them out in a drive-through set up at the Stratford Town Centre.
In Tignish, fireworks will be replaced by the town's signature lobster trap tree, which will light up the sky in red and white.
Residents can also join in the town's Canada flag hunt, with clues directing them to hidden flags that will spell out a secret phrase.
"There's some clues the kids will get and there's some that are going to need your thinking cap," said Tina Richard, the recreation director for Tignish.
As for the Tignish bubble run, which included a five-kilometre race with a bubble maze component for the last kilometre, Richard said that will be postponed.
"We just thought we would wait and do that at a later time because it was so much fun last year."