/images/DSC03330-crowd.jpg" width=220 align=left vspace=4 border=2 > Tecumseh Park in downtown Chatham attracted crowds all weekend as thousands descended from all over to celebrate Canada Day. Tagged as the Canada D'eh celebration, the event was held through the volunteer efforts of many residents under the Cultural Coalition of Chatham-Kent. It replaces the now-defunct Festival of Nations which served for many years as the official kickoff for summer.
/images/DSC03303-fireworks.jpg" align=right vspace=4 border=2 >The afternoon parade drew crowds of spectators along the route, punctuated by the red and white of flag-waving youngsters. Many regulars appeared in the parade, including the Chatham Concert Band which is continuing their 80 year tradition of providing free concerts in the park this summer. Classic cars were out in full force in their capital city, while the Canadian Cowgirls galloped our national colours along the way.
As darkness fell, young and old gathered at the river for the fireworks. Many youth were spotted participating in the festivities, with the crisp air alternating between the odour of gunpowder and outdoor rock concerts. Police didn't report any major issues and everyone appeared well behaved.
Tecumseh Park is one of few downtown places that's graced with appreciable tree cover. Unfortunately, many who arrived early for choice seats found the view obscured once the sparks started flying. Some in the crowd were overheard making comparisons with the Windsor-Detroit event, even though they could probably walk home faster afterwards than it would take to find their car in Windsor. Overall, the appreciative crowd was not disappointed as polite applause followed the grand finale.
Events such as this prove the invaluable asset that volunteers contribute to making the community a great place to live. The park seems to be serving us well without the proposed $6 million renovation.