Miltonians may have enjoyed their last Canada Day festivities at the Milton Fairgrounds. After more than 20 years of providing our community with a yearly celebration, the Milton Canada Day Committee will be retiring in 2019.
Once joined together with the Milton Santa Claus Parade Committee, the two events split off once they gained traction within the community. Committee Member of 15 years and Sponsorship Chair Pat Rideout explains, “As each event grew, it was decided that they should be separate entities.” The event was first hosted at Rotary Park but quickly outgrew the space and moved to its current location at the Milton Fairgrounds.
Organizing this annual event is no easy feat. Planning for the festivities begins in October of each year for the July 1st event the following year. According to police estimates, when it’s sunny, Canada Day in Milton sees an average of over 30
thousand visitors from morning till night.
Event highlights have included citizenship ceremonies, a parade of veterans, and the ever-popular Kids Zone. Rideout says
she “loves seeing the joy on [children’s] faces as they climb and play on the sand mountain.” Rohini Datta Sood attended with her husband and children this year and had a great family day. “There was so much to do, and we really enjoyed the day. I loved the variety in the Kids Zone! The staff and volunteers were so nice and energetic. We are so thankful and happy to live in Milton and have this great family friendly free event to celebrate both Canada, and family.”
Pat Rideout expands, “We all feel that this is an important event. It’s basically a free family event where we come together and celebrate our country’s diversity. There is such pride in evidence that day. Lots of flags, Canadian t-shirts, birthday cake,
wonderful entertainment – all capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.”
Mother of four Shaaron Zach agrees: “The fireworks were amazing! They were made even better when my 4-year-old said loudly, ‘Happy Birthday beautiful Canada!’ We absolutely love Milton and encouraging our children to find joy inside Milton is important to us. We jump at chances to make memories with them here.”
The Milton Canada Day Committee gave Canada’s 150th extra attention in 2017 with a larger headliner show, special attractions, and a 150th Zone dedicated to commemorating the day.
Dan Van Miani describes her family’s experience at this year’s Canada Day event in Milton. “I went with my mom and my son and we had an amazing time! As soon as we walked to the front, we were welcomed by greeters who handed us mini Canadian flags. We enjoyed the kiddy bouncy castles and the selection of rides. We ended our day by watching one of the live bands for a good hour (our legs and feet were tired, and we needed the rest!). The entertainment was exceptional! Afterwards we said how truly lucky we are to be in a smaller community like Milton and to have this literally right in our backyard and to our delight, all for FREE! We will be back again next year for sure.”
Unfortunately, it looks like next year’s Canada Day festivities won’t be going ahead. Pat explains that long-term, committed volunteers are difficult to garner. “We are a group of 12 individuals who basically have to throw and fund a party for 30 thousand guests.” She notes that many of the volunteers have been planning the event for numerous years and are understandably tired.
She continues, “It would be great to see another group or organization continue our efforts but when those who have inquired learn how time consuming it is, and how much sponsorship is required to fund it, they haven’t moved forward with
Canada Day is the largest attended oneday event in Milton, and it’s clear just how intrinsic this occasion is to our community. Miltonians wish to thank the Milton Canada Day Committee for their years of dedicated service.