Canada Day, Tuesday, July 1, 2014 promises to be bigger than ever before in Charlottetown, the Birthplace of Confederation.
The bands are bigger, the fireworks will be bigger and the celebration zones are bigger.
Charlottetown is getting set to host one of its biggest Canada Day weekend parties ever as the 150th anniversary celebrations ramp up yet again.
And the weather forecast looks downright perfect between Saturday and Canada Day on Tuesday.
The Big Red Festival kicks it all off on Saturday at the Charlottetown Event Grounds with Marianas Trench headlining the list of bands.
Saturday’s lineup also includes Bridgit Mendler, Lights, Crystalyne, Macy Kate, Ariel, Zoey and Eli and Dylan Menzie.
Those heading the grounds on Sunday will hear the Sam Roberts Band, Hey Rosetta!, Adam Baldwin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Motorleague and North Lakes.
And, because it’s such a big party this year, the Big Red Festival has expanded past the Canada Day weekend.
The Killers will headline the July 12 concert that also includes Death Cab for Cutie, Matt Mays, Drive By Truckers, Kardinal Offishall, Bahamas, July Talk, Mic Boyd and The Town Heroes.
“I think it’s a wonderful summer kickoff to the 2014 celebration activities,’’ said Jeff Squires, general manager of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival Inc., which is responsible for booking acts for Big Red. “People have been talking about the 2014 celebrations for a long time now. Finally, it’s here and people can get out and moving.’’
Canada Day itself is going to be much bigger in the P.E.I. capital than ever before with events taking place at the Charlottetown Event Grounds and at the Celebration Zone at Confederation Landing Park.
The official opening ceremony takes place at the Celebration Zone at 11 a.m. on Canada Day.
Festivities then will include face painting and balloon twisting for children and live performances by Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, Irish Mythen, Amy and Rachel Beck and Michael Pendergast, among others.
There will also be buskers, exhibits and activities in both the Canada Pavilion and Kids Pavilion.
Food service will be available from local vendors and at the Fathers Pub and Oyster Bar.
Free access passes are not required for entry into the celebration zone.
The Charlottetown Event Grounds opens at 2 p.m. for the Concert for Canada. There will be performances by David Myles, Roch Voisine, George Canyon, Classified, Barenaked Ladies, Drum and Tegan and Sara. Free access pass holders are guaranteed entry while access to everyone else is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Access on Canada Day is free for those lucky enough to get in. Those who get in and leave the site are not guaranteed re-entry.
Canada Day will be capped, of course, with fireworks and it’s a much bigger show this year.
Fireworks will be launched from two barges in the Charlottetown harbour a kilometre apart. Fireworks will be visible from the event grounds, Celebration Zone and Victoria Park, among other locations along the waterfront.
Organizers note that all tent structures at the Celebration Zone will be wheelchair accessible, there will be specific entrances to both locations for those in wheelchairs and Pat & the Elephant will provide free transportation to both sites on Canada Day. To book a reservation, call 902-894-3339.
People heading into the area between Saturday and Tuesday are advised to check the Charlottetown Police Services website at www.charlottetownpolice.com for a list of traffic and parking restrictions that will be in place.