Canada Day in London

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Tomorrow is the day when we all gush red and white and proudly wave our maple leafs. Canada Day brings out the best in our country and our communities. If your family is looking for some way to celebrate your true north, strong and free, here is what is happening in London:

LONDON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

The Children’s Museum will have lots of great Canada Day activities like Canadian yoga, creating a Canadarm, and learning about basketball, our constellations, and Alexander Graham Bell.

PALASAD

Palasad North and South are celebrating Canada Day with 1/2 price classic pizza, 1/2 price jumbo wings, and loonie bowling games.

FANSHAWE PIONEER VILLAGE

Fanshawe is celebrating Dominion Day the way it was back on the first Dominion Day in 1867. Join them from 10:00am to 4:30pm.

STORYBOOK GARDENS

Come dressed in red and white for $1.50 off your admission!

FIREWORKS

BYRON SPORTS COMPLEX

The Byron Optimists are hosting their annual Canada celebration and fireworks. Gates open at 6:00pm, donations accepted.There will be music, face painting, speeches and fireworks, of course!

HARRIS PARK

Downtown comes alive with Harris Parks fireworks over the Thames River. This annual event is a classic.

SOUTH LONDON COMMUNITY CENTRE

Events begin at 2:00pm and end with fireworks. There will be entertainment, food, and lots of fun!

EAST LONDON OPTIMISTS

The Optimist Club of East London will be putting on a show at Argyle Arena. The party begins at 11:00am and continues into the night with a fireworks show.

GRAND BEND

What could be more beautiful than fireworks on the beach? Live bands and family-friendly entertainment will have you rocking on this Canada Day.

ST. THOMAS

Both St. Thomas and Port Stanley will be having Canada Day activities during the day, then head over to Pinafore Park for fireworks in the evening.

Dundas Street Festival

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This Saturday, June 13 is the annual Dundas Street Festival celebrating the best of Downtown London. This car-free event will have Dundas Street closed to cars from Ridout to Wellington. There will be bands playing on three stages, vendors, food, art, and fun! This is a family-friendly event open to everyone, so walk, ride and play downtown this weekend.

ON STAGE

There will be live music on three stages from 12noon until 11:00pm

BURRITO BOYZ STAGE

Between Wellington and Clarence beside the Library

OUR STREET LONDON STAGE

Between Clarence and Richmond in the Impark Lot

FANSHAWE COLLEGE STAGE

Between Richmond and Talbot in Market Lane

For a full lineup of bands, when they are playing, and at which stage, see HERE.

VENDOR LINE UP

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Follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

London Santa Claus Parade

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It’s that time of year again! It may only be the beginning of November, but according to the retail world, the Christmas season is upon us. As a wholehearted lover of Christmas, I embrace the early start! And what better way to kick it off than with the annual London Santa Claus Parade?

While many things change, the London Santa Claus Parade is not one of them. The parade I take my children to every year is in fact very similar to the parade that I went to as a child – the same marching bands, the same kitschy-fabulous floats, the same clowns, and even the same Ghostbusters Ecto-1! The charm of the old parade is, for me, the nostalgia of a simpler time when the pure excitement of that first glance of Santa Claus was enough to make the night a flawless success. Will you be there? I sure will be!

WHAT: This year’s theme is Eh Canadian Christmas!

WHEN: This Saturday, November 8. The parade begins at 6:00pm heading down Dundas Street from Egerton.

WHERE: Whether you are going or not, you will want to be aware of the PARADE ROUTE down QUEENS AVE from Quebec Street to Ridout Street** for Saturday evening. The route is often blocked off in advance of the parade due to the volume of pedestrians on the streets. Please plan your travel/parking in advance to keep everyone safe! **Note that the route has changed this year!

WHAT TO BRING

As in previous years, the London Santa Claus Parade will be collecting for various charities and causes. Please watch for the official Santa Claus Parade collectors!

TOONIE TOSS: The Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will be collecting toonies (or any other cash,change, etc) to be put towards the cost of running the parade. Donations ensure that the parade comes back every year!

TEDDY BEAR TOSS: Bring a brand new teddy bear to be donated to the London Salvation Army

FOOD BANK DONATIONS: Non-perishable food items will be collected during the parade and donated to the London Food Bank. Last year over 14 000 lbs of food was donated during the parade!

AND FOR YOURSELF… there are often organizations or coffee shops open along route selling hot chocolate, coffee, and treats, but if you have any Halloween candy lying around still, it might be a good idea to grab a handful or two (or a healthy snack!) to keep the kids happy. Pace yourself with the drinks though, toilets are hard to come by. ;)

Please remember to make space for the children. Be mindful of where you are sitting and be aware of blocking other people’s view or taking up too much of that precious curb real estate. Get cozy! Start spreading that Holiday cheer early and be kind to others. The Parade Officials are also asking that you bring rain gear instead of umbrellas if necessary, do not smoke along the parade route, and respect the officials.

Dress very warmly, bring blankets and/or fold-able chairs to sit on, and your camera! These are memories your children will treasure.