Here's how communities across Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton are celebrating Canada Day
A number of in-person celebrations have been cancelled in favour of virtual events
Though the province continues to slowly reopen communities in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Canada Day celebrations won't be business as usual.
For residents of Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton, that means in-person celebrations have largely been cancelled in favour of activities that can be done from home, as well as virtual events that can be accessed online.
Windsor to live stream old Canada Day, Summerfest events
Canada Day in Windsor usually includes some kind of parade and a big cake organized by the Windsor Parade Corporation.
Due to concerns about physical distancing, as well as general COVID-19 rules, residents are instead being asked to decorate their porches, yards and balconies and submit a picture to win a prize.
Maggie Durocher, director of the Windsor Parade Corporation, said that her organization is also asking residents to send photos of painted rocks throughout the community to also win a prize.
Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) is sponsoring two $1,000 prize packs for the winners of the competitions.
Durocher said her organization has also worked with YourTV and CTV Windsor to create a Summerfest and Canada Day retrospective.
"The 1999 Canada Day parade is going to be broadcast on YourTV," she said.
Additionally, Leave Those Kids Alone — a Windsor classic rock band comprised of members aged nine and older — will be performing a rendition of O Canada set to air at 1 p.m.
And though Windsor doesn't usually host Canada Day fireworks, Durocher said residents can view Canadian Heritage's virtual fireworks celebration on their smartphones and tablets.
Sarnia to stream Canadian Heritage shows
Much like other communities across Ontario and the rest of the country, the City of Sarnia won't be hosting any in-person Canada Day events.
Instead, Sarnia resident David Burrows — host and presenter of The Show with David Burrows — will host a daytime Canada Day broadcast from Canadian Heritage.
"Canadian Heritage normally runs Ottawa's celebrations during Canada Day, and so this year, because of COVID-19, they've been doing virtual celebrations and they've decided to showcase a daytime and an evening show," said Rachel Veilleux, events and recreation coordinator with the City of Sarnia.
Burrows' live stream will begin at 1 p.m., with a virtual parade — as well as community shout outs — planned for 2 p.m.
Between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., Burrows will stream Canadian Heritage's evening livestream.
Like residents in Windsor, Sarnians will be able to watch Canadian Heritage's augmented reality fireworks show.
No events planned for Chatham-Kent
While other communities will be hosting some kind of virtual event in lieu of a physical gathering, Chatham-Kent spokesperson Jim Blake confirmed via email that no Canada Day events of any kind are being organized by the municipality this year.