Residents of West St. Paul had two things to celebrate this past Canada Day: the 149th birthday of Canada and the 100th anniversary of their municipality.
Thousands of people from West St. Paul, the surrounding area, and Winnipeg attended the Canada Day Celebration at the Sunova Centre on Fri., Jul. 1, 2016.
“This is a very special year for West St. Paul,” Mayor Bruce Henley declared. “We’re so pleased to have everyone here.”
Family-friendly activities delighted the crowds
The weather and the atmosphere made the day memorable for Arthur Campos of Riverbend. With a high of 26℃, the day was warm and sunny.
“There’s so much for the kids to do. It’s non-stop,” Campos explained. “It’s entertaining. You can leave your kids at different stations and they have a great time.”
Arcade and games booths, face painting, inflatable bouncers, candy scramble, and caricature art kept the kids busy.
Children chased bubbles all morning, thanks to Captain Bubbles, a bubble-making pirate.
River City Bubble Ball facilitated a game of bubble soccer, which is a combination of bumper cars and soccer. Kids climbed inside the giant bubble balls and ran at each other full speed, often resulting in bouncy collisions and 360° rolls.
Frog’s Hollow Farm Petting Zoo brought geese, chickens, bunnies, and goats. Prairie Exotics invited the public to interact with exotic animals, such as snakes, lizards, geckos, tree frogs, tarantulas, and a tortoise.
Wendy Wiebe’s kids loved the reptile tent. They also did a lot of bouncing throughout the day. She has been coming to the event for the last 15 years.
“I’ve always enjoyed it. The entertainment has grown over the years. It’s been a real pleasure sitting here and watching everybody enjoy themselves,” said Wiebe.
It gets better every year
This is the 27th year of the Canada Day Celebration in West St. Paul.
“Every year it gets bigger and better,” explained Damara Geddes, the Recreation Director for West St. Paul. The event is continually growing and building upon the success of previous years.
For the first time, they had a vendor marketplace during breakfast. They also held the 2nd annual Show & Shine car show, which debuted on Canada Day last year.
“We do our best to make it universal for everyone. We’re trying to bring in more things to attract the whole spectrum [of ages] and all demographics,” said Geddes. This year, the event planners brought in a BMX show to appeal to the teen crowd.
Bikes in the sky
The Wonder Wheels BMX Stunt Show put on a spectacular display of skill. Riders Alex Rode (St. Louis, Mo.), Matt Lough (New Lennox, Ill.), Austin Zentmyer (Evansville, Ind.), and Bill Nitschke (Indianapolis, Ind.) soared high above the crowd.
They did stunts like superman, tabletop, tail whip, barspin, 360°, toboggan, and Canadian nose pick. They also incorporated some brave members of the audience into the show.
Other activities included a BBQ, silent auction, 50/50, helicopter rides, paintball shooting gallery, and cribbage tournament.
Tiana Beaudry sang O Canada. There were colourful cupcakes in lieu of birthday cake.
Fireworks are still the favourite
Jen Mollard of West Kildonan thought the fireworks were the best part of the celebration. For the past few years, her family has been coming to West St. Paul on Canada Day to see the spectacular display.
This year, the fireworks were part of a pyro-musical with a Tribute to 100 Years of Music.
About West St. Paul
West St. Paul is a rural municipality with approximately 5,000 residents, located north of Winnipeg on the cusp of the perimeter. It is a growing community with lots of young families and many people moving there from the city, according to Damara Geddes.
The Canada Day Celebration is collaborative effort of the West St. Paul Fire Department, West St. Paul Canada Day Committee, West St. Paul Council, and residents and volunteers of the community.
More photos of the event can be viewed in the Canada Day in West St. Paul album on flickr.