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Get Your Red and White ON

Posted on Monday July 10, 2017

Essex to celebrate Canada 150 – Ontario 150 – Colchester 225!

The Town of Essex invites you to display your Canadian pride on July 29th at “Get Your Red and White ON” – a one-day celebration of Colchester’s 225th anniversary as part of the rich cultural legacy of Canada’s 150 years.

The event takes place at Colchester Park on the Saturday of Explore the Shore (July 29 and 30) and begins at 11:00 a.m. with children’s activities and an all-day beach volleyball tournament organized by Velocity Volleyball.

“We’ve planned a family-friendly day of musical entertainment, children’s activities, and historical commemoration that ends with a spectacular display of fireworks over the lake,” says Doug Sweet, Director of Community Services.

History buffs will want to attend the opening ceremony and heritage event at noon.

“The Colchester story dates back to the late 18th century, just after the American Revolution,” says Sweet. “It’s the oldest English settlement in Upper Canada south of Niagara.”

A large interpretive plaque will be unveiled at the Peace Garden and pavilion , followed by a special storytelling by Seamus (formerly Shaymus) Gunn. Join the historical re-enactor at 2:00 p.m. for a walking tour of Colchester and learn more about the “New Settlement” and its early residents.

The day is full of entertainment. Local children’s entertainer Beebo takes the main stage at 1:00 p.m., followed by Kingsport Environmental with an impressive display of falcons, hawks and other birds of prey. Fairytale fun with Enchanted Princesses rounds out the afternoon, which wouldn’t be complete without a village full of bouncy castles.

Kingsville’s Jen Knight leads the evening lineup of musicians at 5:30. She’ll be performing with acoustic rocker Charlie Lambrick. LaSalle’s guitar prodigy Christian Vegh, winner of the American Federation of Musicians 2016 Charles McDaniel Youth Award, takes the stage at 6:45 p.m., followed by Mudmen, the Celtic rock warriors of southwestern Ontario, at 8:30 p.m.

Don’t miss the fireworks! We’ll be lighting up the lake starting at 9:45 p.m.

Admission and parking for this event are free. Accessible parking has also been identified.

A free shuttle from Essex Centre and McGregor, courtesy of Richmond Coach Lines, is available by reservation. Reserve by phone (519-776-7336 ext. 1124) or register online.

“Get Your Red and White ON” has been made possible thanks to funding from the Province of Ontario. Through the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program, Essex has been awarded $41,260 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.