Canada Day Parade to celebrate Whistler’s diversity 

Yes it’s that time of year again, time to put on those parade shoes, break out the red and white paint and celebrate Canada’s 137th birthday.

In addition to the annual parade, fireworks, live entertainment and a giant red and white cake are all on the day’s agenda.

With 40-50 floats expected, Whistler’s annual Canada Day Parade promises to be a festive and colourful family event. The parade, whose theme this year is "Whistler’s Mosaic: Celebrating Whistler’s Diversity," begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 1.

 In accordance with the theme, all individuals, community groups and businesses are invited to participate. Parade decoration and setup starts at 12:30 p.m. at parking lot 4. Rotarians will judge the best community and best commercial floats at 1:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at the ending ceremony at the Gazebo.

Individuals and groups may also join the Pique Pedal Parade. For the third year in a row, Pique Newsmagazine invites you to spruce up your bike and join the festivities. If you need some creative inspiration for bike decorating, keep in mind the parade’s "diversity" theme.

Everyone is invited to participate, with great prizes for all ages, including a Norco bike and a Parents’ Season’s Pass. Prize sponsors include Norco, FanatykCo, Whistler-Blackcomb, the Cheakamus Challenge and Pique Newsmagazine.

Registration, bike decorating and photos by Coast Mountain Photography will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in parking lot 4, followed by prize presentation for best decorated bikes at 1:30. The Pedal Parade will then join the main parade at 2 p.m.

If you’d like to participate in the Pedal Parade, call Jeannine at the Pique office at 604-938-0202, or register online for a chance to win a Pique cycling jersey at www.piquenewsmagazine.com.

The Canada Day parade will begin from the set-up area in day skier lot 4, march up Blackcomb Way and enter the village in Mountain Square, underneath the Clock Tower. The route will then wind up around the Carleton Lodge to the Whistler Mountain Gondola base, then continue back down along Village Stroll to Village Square, cross the bridge over Village Gate Boulevard, and finish at the Gazebo in Town Plaza (near The Gap and Caramba!).

The parade will by led by Whistler’s mayor and councillors, as well as representatives of various music, art, sports, and First Nations groups.

Look out for the Fashion Police and for RCMP Corporal Dave Smith with his horse "Justice" and dog "Moosejaw." The Whistler Children’s Choir, the Black Tusk Caledonia Pipe Band from Squamish, the Reynolds High School Band from Victoria, and VAL, a Slovenian dance group, will all play, sing, and perform in the parade.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. the official Canada Day ceremony commences at Town Plaza: The national anthem will by followed by the mayor’s address, the announcement of best parade entries, and the traditional birthday cake cutting.

Whistler’s 7-year-old music star Abigail Winter-Culliford will also be part of the official ceremony. Live entertainment will follow the formalities until, weather permitting, fireworks burst off at the base of Whistler-Blackcomb around 10:15 p.m.

Afterwards, everybody is invited to join LUNA (Late and Unique Night Alternatives) to watch the outdoor movie "The Bear" at Lost Lake Park.

This year’s parade is organized by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, with funding from Heritage Canada and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. To pre-register, call Mecki at the Whistler Chamber of Commerce at 604-932-5922 ext. 12.

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