On Saturday we joined with Urban Community Baptist Church for our Second Annual Canada Day Picnic. Yes, it was a day early! Pastor and Mrs. Beliveau were scheduled to help Metro Baptist Church with their big day (this is the church that set up tents in the park because they couldn't get their rec centre on Canada Day), so we planned our picnic for June 30th. We were also joined by the youth group from Cornerstone Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, TX. They spent the week in our area, and were scheduled to be with Pastor Beliveau on Sunday morning. So with two churches and a youth group, we had lots of people and lots of fun!
Wes did the grilling for us. He's a wonderful grill chef and loves doing it. We had burgers and hot dogs, which the two churches supplied, and each family brought chips, side dishes, salads, and desserts. We set it all out and just nibbled all afternoon. We had games of badminton, flag football (all the guys), bocce, croquet, and baseball. The smaller kids played in the creek and on the playground, and one of our church families brought their dog, Cisco. Cisco's a big hit with everyone, because he tirelessly plays fetch with a ball, a stick, and even a huge rock! LOL That crazy dog found a big rock in the creek and carried it around all day, and he loves to find the absolute biggest stick in the area and carry that around too. He found a tree branch at one point and was carrying it all over the picnic ground! So he's our entertainment. Stu and Donna, our visiting missionary friends, were also able to be with us, so we passed the babies around a good bit too! ;)
The weather was cool and cloudy in the morning, but cleared off to a sunny, warm afternoon. That's something I have had to get used to. Just because it's July does not mean it's warm. We wore jackets for the first part of the day! One year, it was only 55 degrees on July 1st. So unlike the 100-degree-plus weather in Texas! I think we made it up into the 70s here on Saturday, which was nice and toasty for us, just right for playing outside.
Pam had asked in one of the comments how Canadians celebrate Canada Day. We celebrate here pretty much like Americans celebrate Independence Day, just a little quieter. I didn't hear any firecrackers at all the whole weekend, and we had to look online to see if Vancouver was even having a fireworks display for the holiday! They were, by the way, but it didn't start till 10:30 at night (not dark enough till then) and we all had to be up early Monday morning, so we didn't even consider going. We probably could have seen some of it from our front balcony (not much, but some), but we were all in bed before it started and I didn't even think of it till Monday morning!
Anyway, celebrations here consist of picnics with grilled burgers and all the trimmings, and everyone taking the day off from work. North Vancouver had a pancake breakfast on The Boulevard (local residential area), with a parade following. I actually saw a tank Sunday morning! A tank! In Canada! I assume it was heading to the parade. Canada has a strong military (they have a major presence in Afghanistan right now), but it doesn't have the same zeal for the military that the US has. So to see a tank rolling down the road on a quiet Sunday morning was quite a shock to me! ;) I'm sure other cities had parades and celebrations also, but they are all pretty low-key in comparison to what I'm used to. I have to remember that July 4th is THE American holiday, and that Canadians, while immensely proud of their country, just haven't been brought up with that same patriotism that Americans have. It doesn't mean they love their country less, just that they don't celebrate with quite as much gusto as Americans do.
So there you have it! Canada Day 2007.