On July 1, Orléans residents were able to celebrate Canada’s birthday for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic in March 2020. People were overjoyed to not only celebrate Canada Day in their own back yard again, but to do so among friends and neighbours without any COVID restrictions.
The weather also played a big factor in people being able to enjoy the day. After reports that it would likely rain at least part of the day, the weather couldn’t have been nicer,
especially when the sun decided to make and appearance at around 2 p.m. and stuck around for the remainder of the afternoon.
The usual Canada Day afternoon thunderstorm failed to materialize as well, making it only the second rain-free Canada Day celebration on Petrie Island since an event was first held there in 2005.
Lead organizer Zybina Richards is a veteran of all 14 Canada Day celebrations on Petrie Island. The event was moved to Navan in 2016 and two were canceled during the pandemic.
Prior to 2005, Richards was the lead organizer of the Canada Day celebration in Fallingbrook from 1986 to 2003. After successfully undergoing triple bypass surgery in 2020 followed by a year-long battle with cancer, Richards was just happy to be able to bring the O’ Canada Celebration back to Petrie Island with the help of Kiwanis East Ottawa Est and Richcraft, who were this year’s title sponsors.
And the while the adults were grateful the O’ Canada Celebration had returned to Petrie Island, the kids were over the moon at the chance to play games in the KidZone,
get their faces painted, take a turn in the bouncy castle and enjoy a piece of the massive Canada Day birthday cake, which was brought out at the conclusion of the opening ceremonies.
As the temperature rose throughout the afternoon, a large number of people took advantage of the fact that Petrie Island has two magnificent beaches, while others enjoyed a cold beer or refreshing cooler while listening to the live music.
The day ended with a massive fireworks display..