Three years after the last in-person Canada Day celebration in Pembroke, Waterfront Park in Pembroke was packed for Canada’s 155th anniversary.
“Oh, I’m really happy,” Mayor Mike LeMay said. “So after being closed for two years to see so many people here…I think we’re going to have a great afternoon.”
This will be LeMay’s last Canada Day as mayor of Pembroke, as it has been announced that he will not run in this fall’s municipal elections. He is happy to spend his last Canada day with his constituents.
“What a great Canada Day to have,” LeMay told CTV News. “That we’re almost back to normal, not quite, but that we can really celebrate the day and enjoy it. And seeing everyone smile and know they’re going to have a great time makes my day and so also makes my term as mayor.” I’m quite satisfied.”
Local vendors and eateries were available in the Pembroke Marina, along with performers, live music, Indigenous educational opportunities, a petting zoo, and inflatable attractions for children.
Headlining the day’s festivities was Canadian country music artist Andrew Hyatt.
“It’s always great to come to a city and have them invite us to play music, and this is going to be a cool one,” said Hyatt, who performed at the Marina Amphitheater. “It’s nice to be in a more intimate setting sometimes to talk about the songs and tell stories.”
Hyatt says that, like Pembroke, he grew up celebrating Canada Day.
“I grew up in Sudbury, so we went to Bell Park to watch bands and just enjoy time with our families,” said the country artist. “So hopefully people will do the same today.”
With families filling the park and seeing old friends again, it was a special first July that felt like old times.
“Just spending time with family today,” said Paul Jurgens, who went to Waterfront Park with his two children and parents. “We haven’t been together much with the pandemic. So just having good, quality family time.”
“It’s nice to see everyone and to be a lot of people,” Brittany Wieland said, sharing an ice cream cone with her family, “so it was good.”
The Canada Day return to Pembroke and the Valley concludes with a fireworks display at Riverside Park at 10:00 PM.