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Canada Day celebrations will focus on Games

Olympic, Paralympic athletes will be part of festivities

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were a huge deal in Vancouver and Whistler, the host communities, for obvious reasons. But they were also a big deal for the rest of Canada.

Canadian athletes earned 14 gold medals, more than any other nation in any past Winter Games, and finished with a record number of medals in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

This year's Canada Day celebration in Whistler will be all about the Games.

The event kicks off with a pancake breakfast by donation on July 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Upper Village, with proceeds going towards the food bank.

The annual Canada Day parade gets underway at noon outside the Whistler Public Library and winds along Village Stroll to Mountain Square. The parade will include various 2010 Olympians and Paralympians, as well as a 60-piece marching band.

The après parade party takes place in Village Square at 2 p.m. with local musician Rachel Thom singing the national anthem, a cake cutting, a ceremony to recognize 2010 athletes, and a Spirit of the West concert.

At 7 p.m. the party moves to Ross Rebagliati Park with more musical performances, a community mural project and an outdoor movie before fireworks get underway at 10:15 p.m.

The celebration will continue through the weekend with outdoor concerts on Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. featuring local musicians and musical guests Delhi 2 Dublin wrapping up the Saturday showcase.