Parades, patriotism and parties!

I currently have no plans to defect from my dear home country of the United Kingdom, despite it’s often stereotypical rainy, grey, dull weather and many peoples beliefs that we are not always the most friendly of bunch it is still for me where I want to call home. However despite only being away so far for two and a bit weeks there are a few things I have come across that have led me to believe Canada is doing it right. Having finally had an opportunity to celebrate a foreign national holiday in its own country a large part of this post has bee inspired by that said day.

The few times Canada so far has trumped the UK:

1. The first is kind of obvious as it’s what we often seem to be lacking in the UK, highlighted recently as we bombed out of the World Cup, patriotism and pride. Canada I found out on Tuesday 1 July just turned 147 years old. Maybe it’s its historical youth but people here even in the relatively small town of Jasper love their country and their town. They hadn’t won anything, they weren’t attempting to win anything but for the whole day the town was awash with people in red and white combos, faces painted, hat wearing, flag wearing the town was covered! You looked a little odd and stood out just a bit if you weren’t wearing red and white! And everyone sang their national anthem during the flag raising ceremony.


2. Parades. To further highlight the above, after the official flag raising and speeches and serving to the crowd pieces do white and red birthday cake the town was then taken over by its annual parade, que even more red and white, giant bubble blowers, confetti, flags, sweets and balloons. Virtually every single community outlet, large company, tourist attraction (and the mayor) was in the parade from a simple truck to floats bedecked with bears (unfortunately, no that’s not conservation minded of me at all, fortunately, they weren’t real ones!).


3. And how in Canada do they finish a day like that off, they throw a bloody big firework display and have a party! Kind of obvious really. And it’s not just piddly little fireworks it’s great big whoppers that went on for forever (no exaggeration obviously). Not necessarily to everyone’s taste but it sure was good. Then everyone who hasn’t already drunk to much goes and drinks some more.


4. Weather and scenery; apparently slightly out of character for this area of the Rockys, I have so far been blessed with glorious sunshine and heat pretty continuously, long may it continue! And get to wake up everyday to snow topped mountains, raft in rivers, trail ride through forests on the stables doorstep and even visit the odd lake beach. Hang on a minute maybe I don’t want to come home!?

5. And finally, this is a little two sided, but back home I always buy 2for1 offers drawn in by a saving and then often never use it all or get fed up of it after a while. Here if something’s on
sale offer but you only want one, you just pay half of the 2for1 type sale price. Bargain! However the down side of the food shops here, my favourite food, cheese, costs a million bucks and isn’t so great or you can buy something decent from a deli and pretty much kill anything left of your bank account.


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