By Anna Karpinski
My husband Matt and I moved from Toronto, Ontario to Charlottetown, PEI in May 2002. Two months later, our daughter Ella was born on June 30th, the day before Canada Day. Since then, we look forward to celebrations two days in a row. This year Ella turned 13 and Canada 148.
How we celebrate Ella's birthday has changed over the years, but our Canada Day is always the same. First we head to the beach to soak up some sun and put our feet in the sand. Then as most Canadians, we fire up the barbeque, put some cold drinks on ice and have our family and friends over to hang out in the backyard.
On July 1st, barbequing, eating and relaxing are the main events for most Canadian families. Walk down any residential street on Canada Day and you will smell steaks, burgers and hot dogs sizzling on grills in many a backyard.
After dinner, we go down to Victoria Park for the official Canada Day ceremony. The park and boardwalk are always filled with people dressed in red and white t-shirts. Kids have Canadian flags painted on their cheeks and hold red balloons on strings in their hands. Even dogs have red and white scarfs tied to their necks.
People spread their blankets out on the grass, listen to music and wait for dusk when the fireworks begin. Because PEI is the birthplace of Confederation, our small island has one of the largest fireworks displays in Canada.
Canada Day always kicks off our short but gorgeous summer months. From July 1st to September 1st Canadians focus on getting outside and enjoying the 'true north, strong and free' as much as they can before the cool breezes roll back in.