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Jun. 17, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
COVID doesn't deter Canada Day celebrations

Canada Day festivities in Niagara-on-the-Lake were different this year thanks to COVID-19, but people still found ways to adjust and continue celebrating.  

Those looking to celebrate could enjoy a patio party, Canada Day cupcake delivery or drive-through barbecue in town. 

The Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake partnered with Pig Out Niagara for a pop-up Canada Day barbecue in the parking lot of Niagara United Mennonite Church.  

Customers could order ahead or drive through the pop-up for a pulled pork sandwich or hotdog lunch, between noon and 2:30 p.m.  

Krystan Tandock, a Thorold resident, was driving home with her family when they spotted the barbecue. 

“We’re happy to be here and to be able to support something local,” she said. 

“It’s different, but it’s nice to actually be able to get out of the house,” said her husband, Chris Tandock. 

Normally the Rotary Club would be set up for a morning pancake breakfast and afternoon barbecue in Simcoe Park, said Gary Hatton, chair of the Rotary Club Canada Day committee. 

“Obviously this year, everything’s gone out the window,” he said.  

Hatton said this gave the club an opportunity to collaborate with Pig Out Niagara for the July 1 barbecue and kick off a new year of fundraising. 

Willow Cakes & Pastries with Friends of Fort George volunteers distributed 202 orders of Canada Day cupcakes to residents instead of the annual Canada Day cake at Simcoe Park. 

Eskoot Niagara donated 100 gift certificates to Friends of Fort George for distribution with the cupcake deliveries. The gift certificates allow for a full day of rentals for two people, valued at over $100 each. 

“We are a big supporter of Friends of Fort George because they do a tour for us when things are normal,” said Eskoot owner Colin Telfer, “and they employ a lot of kids on the money that we raise.”

“It’s just a different kind of Canada Day,” he said. “We’re trying to get up for it, we’re all wearing red and we’ve got the flag flying.” 

Stratus Vineyards invited guests to celebrate Canada Day with seating on the terrace and blankets on the lawn beside the vines between noon and 7 p.m. at the winery. 

Kung-Fu Dawg set up on site selling original recipe hotdogs and fresh cut fries with homemade toppings and ingredients from Ontario producers.  

“I think Canada Day is my favourite kind of holiday,” said Stephen Payne, owner and operator of Kung-Fu Dawgs. “It just seems like the summer.” 

“We haven’t been doing events so it’s nice to be able to do an event and celebrate Canada Day,” he said. 

Rotary holds a few annual events to fundraise for the local and international projects it supports, but the pandemic forced the club to cancel them this  year, Hatton said.

The pop-up barbece “lends itself to an opportunity to be able to reduce the numbers at one place at one time, spread out the people around and still at the same time bring in some money,” he said. 

“We’re not getting anywhere near the cash that we got at Simcoe because there are thousands and thousands of people” that the Rotary Club normally serves on Canada Day, he said. 

“But it keeps people in mind. They see the Rotary sign and they keep thinking about us and we want them to keep us in their hearts.”