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Sesquicentennial events planned downtown for Canada Day weekend

June 20, 2017 -

The sesquicentennial Canada Day fireworks will be in Confederation Basin at 10 p.m. on July 1, but free activities, live music and events marking 150 years of Canadian Confederation are scheduled all weekend long in downtown Kingston.

"This is an exciting time for our nation and our city as we celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial! This year we have a whole weekend of family-friendly events planned," says Mayor Bryan Paterson.  "I encourage Kingstonians and visitors to come out and celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in the city where it all began!"

Kingston Transit will offer extended service on Saturday (try using the real-time bus travel info on your favourite transit app). Remember: kids14 and under ride free!

Find more details of sesquicentennial events at www.CityofKingston.ca/Kingston150 and share your Canada Day weekend memories on Twitter using #Kingston150.

Find holiday changes to City of Kingston services below the event listings.

Here's what is going on:

Thursday, June 29

  • Movie in the Square – Dusk (9:25 p.m.) in Springer Market Square see The Great Outdoors, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. Bring a chair to enjoy the show!

Friday, June 30

  • Enjoy performers on the Sesqui Stage from 5 to 10:30 p.m. featuring The Relative (8 p.m.) and Dirty Radio (9:15 p.m.). 
  • Illumination of City Hall – At 10 p.m. Mayor Bryan Paterson presides over the inaugural use of a programmable lighting system that will light City Hall with a Canada-themed motif.

Saturday, July 1 – Canada Day!

  • The Kingston Public Market runs in Springer Market Square 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Limestone Mile race begins in Boucher Park at 9 a.m.  See details at www.krra.org/events/krra-limestone-mile-canada-day.
  • Wagon rides, kids' activities, inflatable games, bouncers and more operate from 1 to 6 p.m. at Ontario and Brock streets and Confederation Park.
  • Pump House Steam Museum at 23 Ontario St. offers free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  See the Believe it or Not exhibit, the Engage for Change information table – with an opportunity to make a contribution to the Reconciliation Tree – and do block prints with MacLachlan Woodworking Museum.
  • Artsfest Kingston runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Park. See www.artfestontario.com/kingston for details.
  • Tomlinson Aqua Park is open 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. (see CityofKingston.ca/Waterpark).
  • Red & White People Parade – 11 a.m. at Barrie and Princess streets. Wear Canadian red and white and join the parade starting at the Metro parking lot and moving down Princess Street to City Hall.
  • Civic Ceremony and Civic Awards – 12 p.m. on the Sesqui Stage at City Hall. Mayor Bryan Paterson will preside over the ceremony to mark the sesquicentennial Canada Day and will congratulate the winners of the First Capital Distinguished Citizen and Honourable Achievement awards and the Mayor's Award for Youth Volunteerism.  See this year's winners at: CityofKingston.ca/CivicAwards.
  • Ride the vintage Ferris wheel in front of the Visitor Centre on Ontario Street from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Live music and performances on the Sesqui Stage at City Hall from 1 to 10 p.m. featuring The Dream Catcher musical performances at 3 and 6 p.m. See the full line-up at www.downtownkingston.ca/enjoy/2017/canada-day.
  • The Mayor's Sail Pass on Lake Ontario takes place at 1 p.m. See it from Crawford Wharf in Confederation Basin.
  • The sesqui-spectacular Canada Day fireworks are best viewed from Confederation Basin and start at 10 p.m.

Sunday, July 2

  • The Kingston Antique Market runs in Springer Market Square 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Artsfest Kingston runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Park. See www.artfestontario.com/kingston for details.
  • Live music and performances on the Sesqui Stage at City Hall featuring Lost Cousins at 7 p.m.  and Busty & the Bass at 8 p.m.

See www.CityofKingston.ca/RoadClosures for a listing of when roads will be closed in the area of City Hall over the holiday weekend.

Holiday Changes to City and Utilities Kingston Services

Garbage, green bin and recycling:  No collection on Monday and collection moves to the day after your normal pick-up day for the rest of the week. Sign-up to be reminded what to put out when at www.CityofKingston.ca/collection. The Kingston Area Recycling Centre is closed Saturday and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday.

Kingston Transit: Extended bus service will be offered to riders on Saturday, July 1: all express routes (501/502, 601/602,701/702) and routes 1, 7, and 15 will offer expanded service schedules to get you to and from the festivities at Confederation Basin. All other local routes will run on a Sunday schedule on July 1. Buses will run on a regular service schedule Sunday and Monday.  Plan your bus trip with Google Transit: www.kingstontransit.ca/tripplanner.

Kingston Access Services: Operates with limited service Monday. Call 613-542-2512.

Administrative Offices: All administrative offices, including housing and social services and provincial offences are closed Monday.

Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro: Closed Monday. In the event of a utility emergency, such as a gas smell, power outage or a water main break, call the Utilities Kingston 24-hour number at 613-546-1181. Hydro One electricity customers in the west and east ends can call 1-800-434-1235. Union Gas customers can call 1-877-969-0999. Remember: for electricity used on weekends and holidays like Canada Day, electricity prices are off-peak.

Tomlinson Aqua Park, splash pads and wading pools: Splash pads and wading pools are open on Saturday and Monday.  The McBurney Park wading pool opens for the season on July 1. 

Arenas: Closed Saturday. Open Monday (except Memorial Centre).

INVISTA Centre/Fitness & Wellness Centre: Closed Saturday. Only the Fitness & Wellness Centre will be open within the INVISTA Centre on Monday.

Artillery Park Aquatic Centre:  Closed Saturday. Open Monday.

Libraries: All branches of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library are closed Saturday and open on Monday.

Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and Confederation Basin Marinas: Open. 

Grand Theatre Box Office: Closed Saturday. Open Monday. Administrative offices will also be closed on Monday.

Kingston Fire & Rescue encourages you to enjoy the public fireworks from Confederation Park and Fort Henry. Lighting your own fireworks can be dangerous. If you choose to do so, follow the safety guidelines at www.CityofKingston.ca/fire.

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. Kingston is focusing on being smart and livable as it pursues its vision to become Canada's most sustainable city. We focus on environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality – ensuring that today's decisions don't compromise our future. 

Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

Plan your bus trip with Google Transit: www.kingstontransit.ca/tripplanner

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Media contact: For more information call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.