Celebrations for Canada’s sesquicentennial (a.k.a. 150th birthday) have been underway all year, but the big day at the centre of it all — July 1 — is finally upon us. There are so many options to mark this milestone, it can be hard to narrow down how you want to celebrate. Here are five fun suggestions for how to celebrate Canada’s birthday either on the long weekend or at other points throughout the summer.
1. Visit a national park
Parks Canada is offering free admission to all national parks this year, via their 2017 Discovery Passes. Order one here or if you can’t wait the four weeks it’ll take for it to arrive, just pick one up at any of the national parks gates.
2. Celebrate with your city
If you live in or near a major city, it’s more than likely that your city is throwing a big sesquicentennial shindig complete with live music, street food, and, of course, fireworks. Because it’s a such an important birthday many smaller towns are also pulling out the stops and putting on special festivities to celebrate.
3. Road trip to another province or territory
Have you visited the provinces that border your own? There’s no better excuse than a big birthday to check out parts of Canada that you may not be familiar with. Pack up the car and take a weekend road trip to the province or territory next door. While you’re there, hit all of the tourist spots and make sure you try some regional food.
4. Explore Indigenous culture
2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, but the history of people living on this land dates back much further. Be sure to recognize the country’s rich Indigenous history by making a visit to a First Nations cultural center or Indigenous historical site part of your 150 celebration.
5. Celebrate with food
Mark Canada 150 right in your own backyard with a special Canada-themed barbeque or dinner party. Make dishes that are linked to different parts of the country (Maritime lobster, Pacific salmon, Alberta beef, PEI potatoes, etc) or play up iconic Canadian ingredients like maple syrup. Or you can focus on your own part of Canada and make a meal out of ingredients that are sourced from farms in your area or produced by local businesses. Either way, make up a playlist of your favourite Canadian tunes to play at your party and break out some Canadian board games — Trivial Pursuit, anyone?