The Streets of Downtown Ottawa:
My first Canada Day Celebration in the Nation’s Capital and I’m greeted by the patriotic spirit flooding down the streets of Rideau. I think the last Canada Day that wasn’t just another day off to me was all the way back when I was in Elementary School. Now, I’m in Ottawa and I can really feel the hype and excitement over Canada’s 144th Birthday.
I’m out on the streets just around noon, and everywhere is packed! Especially Rideau Street, which was blocked off for entertainment and to allow the traffic of people to flow. I was surrounded by skateboarders, torch jugglers, and an assortment of musicians just walking a short distance along the street. I completely missed the Olympics in Vancouver, but I’d imagine it would be something like this (although probably more Epic, it is Vancouver afterall ;)). The herd of people in Canadian Flag capes and breaking out into “Oh Canada!” as they marched down the streets was just incredibly up-lifting. Just being around downtown made me feel a lot of patriotic pride, absolutely enveloped by the Red & White liveliness!
The Escapade Music Festival:
An Epic Party under the Sun, but definitely had a lot of troubles. So lining up at around 3pm, the line-up went through pretty quickly. Unfortunately, when we got up to security they suddenly told us that we weren’t allowed to bring digital cameras in (OMG!)! So in a moment of panic, we got out of the line and had to find a place to store our cameras. Thus, began re-lining up under the blazing sun, which took over an hour this time (I was literally burning up like a roast!).
After being patted down TWICE, I could see the glorious white-bannered entrance to the festival! The escalation of hype was heightened as they strapped on our red-paper wristbands. Welcomed with complimentary Escapade towels, it was time to get a drink in hand and join the crowd! But actually, first thing we did was raid all the giveaways; there were spray painted tees, glasses, flip-flops, and even free drinks!
Although I wasn’t completely use to partying under the hot sun (actually the heat was really intense), it’s all about being with the right people! Despite not feeling well for a large portion of the time, it’s hard not to have a great time when TIESTO is just blasting out crazy beats and you have amazing people dancing by your side.
Definitely would pass out if I partied from 12pm to 12am, but 2-3 hours was optimal and well worth the ticket price. Plus, I’ve never been to an outdoor party in broad daylight! So, it was an experience to remember!
The Fireworks at Parliament Hill Park:
After killing my feet wearing wedges all day, I was so desperate to relieve my pains that I rushed into Urban Outfitters before heading to Parliament Hill. The refreshing flatness of my new sandals made the walk to Parliament 100……. times more enjoyable!
I actually thought Rideau street was already extremely crowded (in comparison to a normal weekend in Ottawa Downtown), but the streets around Parliament Hill Park were even more jam-packed with Red & White! In the mist of the crowd you could see elaborately painted faces, court jester hats, Team Canada Jerseys, and countless Red & White attire. While looking up towards the bright digital screen mounted on the hill of Parliament, we were graced with the presence of royalty! Yes, first Canada Day that I’m in Ottawa and William and Kate are here (extremely cool!)! I’m not that big of a fan of William’s, but Kate is quite an icon and it really hyped up the celebrations for everyone.
While even though the Fireworks don’t really compare to the Celebration of Lights in Vancouver, it was a perfect end to the line of festivities for Canada Day. Super awesome, just lying down on the moist green grass, staring at the ant-like crowds swarming through the streets and chatting about anything and everything with friends while waiting for the fireworks. It’s so difficult to find time to be this chill in the city, but tonight was a night to remember. When the clock struck 10, bright lights exploded in the air and a wave of people rose to their feet in front of us. I can still remember that feeling I got when i just stood close to my friends and stared into the sky (it was an awesome feeling to say the least).
Undoubtedly, this is the place to be if you want the full “Canada Day” Experience. I don’t think I’ve had a better Canada Day in my whole life! The thing about Ottawa is the intense pride and spirit people have and you just become engulfed in the celebrations. Definitely, one of the highlights of living on the East Coast!