S E S Q U I C E N T E N N I A L Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday Tillsonburg-style CELEBRATION F ew people refer to July 1st as the volunteer militia marched from Market Square to the fairgrounds on the west side of Bidwell Street.”

Later in the day, the Tillsonburg brass band played a concert at the Sons of Temperance Hall (where presumably alcohol was not part of the festivities). So how will Canada’s 150th birth- day celebration compare? We’re glad you asked.

‘Dominion Day’ anymore—at least not since the holiday was re- branded ‘Canada Day’ in 1982— but no matter how what you call it, Canada’s birthday has always been a cause worth celebrating. “The first Dominion Day in Tillsonburg was celebrated with noisemakers just after midnight on July 1, 1867,” says Patricia Phelps, curator at Annandale National Historic Site. “By mid-morning, Broadway was thronged with vil- lagers and country folk all eager join the party. The shops were closed and

From there, the party report- edly moved down to Tillson’s Flats (a.k.a. Coronation Park) where the enthusiastic crowd was treated to a marksmanship competition, fire- engine pumping contest and athletic games including shotput and long jump. At Tillson’s Mill Pond, contes- tants cooled off by taking part in a spring pole competition—a kind of high-wire contest where men tried to walk across the water on a pole without falling in.

(Below) Tillsonburg Council and mem- bers of the Canada 150 Committee pose with the giant flag that they’re encourag- ing residents to sign to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.


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2017-05-23 10:46 AM

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