I have twin godsons. I adore them, they are delightful in almost every way. But they are 15 years old, and many, many things have recently become SO. NOT. COOL. I had assumed that I was a part of the increasing collection of people, places, and things that were cringe-worthy so imagine my utter amazement when I discovered that I was not.
I will not fool myself by believing this state of semi-coolness will last much longer and so when they invited me to join them downtown on Canada Day, I was happy to accept. They were slightly less eager for our outing when I mentioned that I would only be paying for half of it …
Last year, Ottawa was voted Canada’s Most Boring City. The mayor apparently attempted to refute the title of Most Boring by listing several “exciting” things to be found in Ottawa. The Tulip Festival was at the top of his list, and I’d never heard of the others. I’d been to the Tulip Festival this year, and while there were some truly amazing tulips, it really was just a lot of flowers, and a lot of people taking pictures of them. I wasn’t holding my breath for Canada Day. I had vague fond memories of Canada Days in my youth but I was a little hazy on whether the fondness was due to the actual event or the alcohol I had consumed.
I have been spoiled by Asian festivals. Canadian festivals all seem to be missing… something. Where were the men on motorbikes who would deliver chicken, beer, and ice cream anywhere in the park? Where were the rice cakes, the silkworms, and the squid on a stick? Why were there no overly-dressed festival helpers giving me ugly paper hats so I didn’t get (gasp!) more freckles? We made it downtown in time for the Prime Minister’s speech. Afterwards, we stood on Parliament Hill with thousands of other Canadians of all size, shape, colour, culture, and gender, all of us dressed in red and white, and sang the national anthem. I will admit to a small tear of pride welling up in my eyes. It was lovely. And as the Snowbirds flew overhead, the mayhem began.
There were people everywhere. People with strollers. People with wagons. People with wheelchairs. People with dogs, and children. People with other people. People with carts full of tacky Canada-themed junk to sell. Buskers, street performers, and bums. Everyone moving, and not moving at the same time. Did I mention that it was 32C?
We managed to find the Chicken Corner where there was a small patch of grass free to have a picnic. Pizza, since there was sadly no squid to be found. And don’t ask me why there was pizza in the Chicken Corner; I have no idea, there was no chicken on it.
Next to Chicken Corner was an area for fun and games organized by the Grain Board, and a little further along the Dairy Board had a large plastic cow with a “simulation udder” in case anyone wanted to learn to milk a cow. Oh boy.
The whole thing was amazing. It was like a national event and a county fair, all rolled into one. The only thing missing was the Ferris wheel.
All in all, it was a fabulous, truly Canadian day. I had a good time, my godsons had an awesome time, and I won’t be upset to be added to the Not Cool List next year. 😀