East London Canada Day

SONY DSCEarly on our Optimist club had a desire to light up the sky with fireworks. In 1964 they did just that in celebration of Canada Day, at the East Lions Park.

Optimist Robert Doyle jumped into celebrating Canada Full tilt in 1981 with parades, pancake breakfasts and fireworks. Optimist Robert and his crew carried out celebrations all week long throughout the city of London and neighbouring communities. These community celebrations inspired local residents to take on their own annual community celebration.

Programs fade and spark up from year to year. A little over ten years ago a group of interested citizens and Optimists came together and reignited our passion for our own community celebration of Canada. Although it began with modest celebration, today we see over 15,000 members of the East London community out on July 1st celebrating our great country.

We delight in the fact that an amazing number of young people, volunteers, service organizations and local business come together and whole heartedly contribute to the annual East London Canada Day celebration.

We are able to offer free fireworks, children’s crafts, day long entertainment, bouncy rides and face painters due to the generous support of many. Every other year we host the Regional Citizenship Ceremony, which allows us the honour of witnessing the induction of new Canadian citizens.

This celebration of Canada continues to grow and develop with contributions made by members of the community, with their direct and candid feedback, by local businesses supporting us financially and with volunteers, as well as our club members sharing their passion and their expertise. We enjoy financial support from a variety of sources: the Canadian Heritage Fund, the city of London, citizens donating through Adrian’s No Frills and many more.

We look forward to continuing to delight our friends and neighbours – East London Style!

 

Submitted by Optimist Catherine Herdman

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