Still stuck in the middle of final exam week, Canada Day currently feels about as far away as next Christmas. For most high school students, Canada Day celebrations aren't really about patriotism, they are celebrations to signal the freedom of the summer months to come. I find Canada Day activities are really centered around families having some early summer fun, since the advertising isn't really aiming for a teenage age group.
So what will I be up to this Canada Day? So much is being planned between now and July 1st that I can't even begin to think where I might be. Most likely it will be like other years, I'll spend the day with friends or family and go and see the fireworks at night.
The Peake's Quay fireworks are definitely a Charlottetown classic. In the past several years its audience has doubled, since now the Stratford population lines up on the opposite side of the Hillsborough to watch the dancing lights from a different perspective. During most of my young childhood, the fireworks were always the most exciting part of Canada day, mainly since it meant getting to stay up so much later than usual. Me and my parents would head down with a kitbag full of blankets and popcorn, and camp out somewhere along the Peake's Quay docks to watch the lights as if they were a movie projected in the sky.
Not every Canada Day has been as peaceful as this though, especially when I became aware of the escalating number of people who use the festivities simply as an excuse to get drunk downtown. If that's how they're choosing to party on Canada Day, then let it be somewhere safe and isolated, and not in an environment where young families are trying to enjoy themselves. The shorelines and harbour of the Hillsborough River should be safe for all ages during the fireworks display and the Canada Day festivities, and not a place for public intoxication in front of the impressionable eyes of small children.