Canada Day Celebrations ~ Ottawa Evening


by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams

OTTAWA Here We Come Again…

We finished our Canada Day Celebrations journey with an Evening On Capital Hill!

For the Canada Day evening activities, this time hosted by the National Capital Commission, we once again headed out early. This time many of the major roadways in downtown Ottawa were completely closed to traffic. I have never seen so many people, all dressed in red and white. When we reached the top of Parliament Hill, we looked down to see swarms of people where the streets were now completely full. The evening performances were similar to the afternoon, in different order though. Red and white large beach balls were tossed around, crowds roared with applause and excitement. The evening air was crisp and cool. After the closing number we were escorted once again around the side of Parliament Hill, to the back. This time to watch the spectacular fireworks, as seen on T.V. Somehow though, I think the folks out the front of Parliament Hill had the best view here, as they could see Parliament Hill itself and the fireworks shooting over the rooftops. I was totally overwhelmed by the booming of the fireworks and the roar and applause of the guests beside me and below.

The highlight of the night, for me, was right at this moment. Although I tease Gary (a.k.a. the Festival Nomad), about the “men in my life with their arms around me", (a.k.a. Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the Mantracker), the highlight for me was to be in Gary’s arms, (a.k.a. the love of my life!) in Ottawa on Canada Day and so proud to be a Canadian.

After the show, we head once again around to the side door of Parliament Hill. We walked with the several hundred dignitaries and lined up to enter the lower level of the Parliament Building. As we stood waiting in this crowd, a Capital Security Guard approached us once again.  He announced that we were “in the wrong place”. No panic this time, however as we walked up to the front doors. The door was held open and we were told “welcome, enjoy your evening”. There we were, with a cool beverage in hand, some yummy treats and grateful for such an amazing experience. This time more performers from the evening show joined in and everyone was having a great time.

After a long, long day we knew it was time to start the long walk back to the hotel. We were very surprised that the “clean up” had already been completed on Parliament Hill outside. It was almost as if hundreds of thousands of people had never been there. As we made our way to the streets, winding our way through Bank and Sparks Streets, there still were plenty of people enjoying the street music, food, and entertainment. After all, we were in downtown Ottawa on Canada Day! What a party!