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Canada Day events offer safe way to enjoy the holiday

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It won’t look like it has in previous years, but there are still plans for some fun to be had on Canada Day.

Both the Fun in the Sun committee and the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce have announced plans for activities on Canada Day that will be replacing the traditional parade, fireworks and other festivities at the Point.

The Fun in the Sun committee has revealed three different Canada Day events that will allow for families and individuals to celebrate the day while still keeping safety in the time of COVID in mind.

The first event will be a house/business decorating contest. Those participating are asked to decorate their home or business to compete in one of four categories, which are Most Authentic (Up-Cycled Materials), Trendy (Marilyn Denis Award), Best Theme, which could be sports, music, geography, etc., and Best Light Show for a night time viewing experience. Apartments are also encouraged to take part, with organizers saying that they can be judged as a single balcony or as a whole building if enough participants get in on the fun.

The second event planned is a colouring contest which almost everyone can take part in. The colouring page will be published in the June 24 edition of the Fort Frances Times, and the categories are Kids aged three to seven, kids age eight to 12, teens aged 13-18 and Adults.

The final event is a writing contest that is open to kids and teens between the ages of four and 17. The theme of the writing contest is “What Canada Means to Me” and organizers encourage those interested to write about why they think Canada is a great place to live. The word limit for kids aged four to 10 is between 25 and 100 words, and kids aged 11 to 17 can write a piece between 50 and 200 words.

All of the participants in each of the events will be eligible to win over $5000 in prize certificates, with the deadline for all contributions set at midnight on Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Photos of decorated houses, apartments or businesses, colouring pages and writing contest submissions can all be sent to funinthesun.fortfrances@gmail.com for consideration.

With the Fun in the Sun Committee offering up a handful of exciting ways to show your Canada Day spirit, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce has also decided to provide a fun way to get out on the town with family and potentially win some great prizes.

At last Monday’s council meeting, Councillor Mike Behan, who is the council representative for the Chamber of Commerce board, announced that the chamber would be hosting the Canada Day Road Photo Rally Scavenger Hunt that will take place around town.

“Participants are asked to take their team photos at various business locations and local landmarks, answer the Canada Day quiz questions, and pick up several items along the way, then email all their photos to be eligible to win great prizes,” Behan said.

“There is no entry fee, with participants asked to pre-register at thefort@fortfranceschamber.com or by calling 274-5773. The starting point will be from the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce parking lot, which is located next to the old high school on First St. East. With the town having to cancel Fun in the Sun and Canada Day activities this year due to COVID-19, this sounds like a great way for families to spend together celebrating our country’s birthday. Everyone is reminded to please follow COVID-19 guidelines while participating.”

The Photo Rally Scavenger Hunt will take place on Canada Day from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Mayor June Caul noted that even though the town isn’t directly responsible for planning the events that take place during Canada Day, the restrictions imposed by all levels of government likely made the prospect of planning out an in-person event, only to have it potentially not go ahead, a frustrating endeavour for event organizers. Even so, she encouraged those who are disappointed by the lack of traditional festivities to remember that much of the world is dealing with some extraordinary times, and pointed out that there’s still time for individuals to plan their own celebrations with their families.

“I think we’re getting used to being told we can’t do this and we can’t do that quite a bit here lately,” she said.

“Hopefully people do remember that rules are in place about the number of people you can have together, making sure that you’re social distancing yourself from anybody if you do happen to be somewhere where other people are congregating and just be very safe. Change your plans this year. Even though we have to downplay it a little bit, we can make our own fun together as families and that’s what I hope everybody still decides to do, just to celebrate in their own way this year, and hopefully this will be the only year ever that this has to happen.”

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