It almost goes without saying, but Canada Day celebrations will clearly look different in Airdrie this year. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many local groups have altered their plans for how they intend to celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 1.
These altered plans began in April, with the cancellation of the Airdrie Parade Committee’s (APC) annual Canada Day parade and the subsequent postponement of the City of Airdrie’s fireworks display. These are long-standing celebrations that many people will certainly miss this year.
In their place, however, new alternatives have emerged. For example, APC has instead chosen to hold a Canada Day decorating contest. The idea has been well received by the community, with residences around Airdrie already adorned in Canada-themed decorations. The contest could very well become a cherished annual tradition in its own right.
No matter how Airdronians intend to celebrate the holiday, it’s important to remain cognizant of the continued risks of COVID-19. Just because restrictions are being lifted and the number of local cases is trending downward does not mean people should be hosting large-scale parties with dozens of friends and family members in attendance.
As Dr. Jia Hu, a medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services, told our newspaper, it’s about striking a balance with your celebration plans. It’s preferable to keep parties small, to not share food or drinks and to host gatherings outside if possible. Hu cautions that “just because you’re allowed to do certain things doesn’t mean that you should.” We feel that's good advice, and it's an idea we’d like to promote.
Canada Day is an important day for millions of Canadians. While our country is far from perfect, July 1 provides us with the opportunity to celebrate our patriotism and remind ourselves of the many things that make this country a great place to live. While those celebrations may look unusual this year, the sentiment remains the same.