The Slegg Building Materials Build-A-Boat Race takes place at around 4:30 p.m. on Sat., July 1 at Sidney’s Glass Beach. (File)

Sidney’s Canada 150 events kick off today

Picnic in the Park and fireworks show happen today; Sidney Days events run all day on July 1

Sidney marks a pair of special dates in 2017 — the 50th anniversary of the Town of Sidney as a municipality, and the nation’s 150th birthday. And it’s being turned into a three-day special event for the entire family.

Both dates are milestones — one being celebrated across the country in a variety of big ways — the other, all wrapped up and included in the party, yet still an important date in the history of Sidney-by-the-Sea.

To mark this historic time, Sidney is holding a series of special events — in addition to all of the great things for people to see and do over the annual Sidney Days festivities. There have been street dances, children’s festivals, extended hours at the summer street market, a dinner in red and white and more.

With more to come over three days: June 30 to July 2.

The main Canada Day/Sidney Days activities get under way Friday, June 30 with ceremonies hosted by the Town of Sidney — including a musical reworks show that night — the fun continues the following morning with a pancake breakfast, the Sidney Days Parade, family fun and games and the famous Slegg Building Materials Build-A-Boat Race — all hosted by the Peninsula Celebrations Society, the organization who puts the event (among many others) on each year.

The Society, with the help of the Town of Sidney, local businesses and many generous sponsors, plans for this event well in advance.

Everything begins the night before Canada Day at Beacon Park on the waterfront at 3 p.m., as the Town of Sidney hosts a community Picnic in the Park, sponsored by Thrifty Foods. There’s a short parade to kick things off, some speeches from local dignitaries, entertainment and more.

The evening is capped off by a fireworks show set to music. They begin at around 10:15 p.m. along the waterfront at the end of Beacon Avenue. The fireworks are always held on June 30, to give visitors and residents a great local experience.

The following morning, after a pancake breakfast, Canada Day kicks off with the Sidney Days Parade at 11:30 a.m. Afterwards, family fun and games start over at Iroquois Park, just a few blocks from Beacon Avenue. There’s plenty to do and see — and free ice cream (while supplies last)!

The fun continues as teams use a minimum of building materials to build boats to race in the Slegg Building Materials Build-A-Boat Race. This event is a huge attraction, with hundreds of people lining the shores at the foot of Beacon Avenue at around 4:30 p.m. to witness the spectacle of boats trying to stay afloat.

New this year is an extra day — Sunday, July 2 — with outdoor events and music. The Sidney Merchants along Beacon Avenue host their annual Sidewalk Sale, starting at 10 a.m. and, beginning at 1 p.m., the Town of Sidney holds the official grand opening of thier new skateboard park in Tulista Park on the waterfront.