Raining on the parade? Canada Day Committee considers moving celebrations

Centennial Park is a popular spot for walkers in the summer, but is it the right spot for Canada Day celebrations?-Heather Wright Photo

Centennial Park is a popular spot for walkers in the summer, but is it the right spot for Canada Day celebrations?
-Heather Wright Photo

Canada Day might be on the move in Sarnia.

The Canada Day committee is considering moving all the celebrations, including the parade which normally winds its way down Lakeshore Road to Canatara Park, to Centennial Park.

Spokesperson Cori Barneveld says the committee is considering consolidating the celebrations. “We didn’t make this proposal lightly,” she says, adding the committee also did consider whether Canatara would be the best spot for all the celebrations.  Barneveld says Centennial has access to more parking and power – right now a generator has to be brought in for Canada Day celebrations in Canatara. Barneveld adds “it is easier (for police) to patrol Centennial.”

Barneveld says when the large crowds descend on Canatara; it is hard to get around. “For Canatara, there is only one way in and one way out…it is an awfully big crowd with limited parking and Centennial has more parking because of all the side streets.

Barneveld says the committee had an engineering firm draw up a plan for Centennial, just to make sure it would work. It does.

But she says Canada Day celebrations are very important to people in Sarnia – a community which has the biggest celebration outside of the nation’s capital – so they want public feedback.

A special email address (CanadaDay@sarnia.ca) has been set up for people to express their opinion before they make any decision.

Barneveld has seen some of the responses already and the response is varied. Some people say “excellent idea” and “it’s about time” but others are troubled.

“The biggest thing is the parade…People on Lakeshore do the picnic in the front yard before the parade and don’t want to break their tradition,” she says adding people have written in saying “that’s been our family tradition forever.”

The Canada Day email account will be open until Feb. 15.

-Heather Wright