People decked out in red and white will once again make their way to Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker Park for the annual Optimist Canada Day celebration.
The festivities kick off 8 a.m. Sunday with a buffet breakfast and official ceremonies get underway around 10 a.m.
Main stage entertainment gets going at 11 a.m. with fireworks presented by Nutrien scheduled for 10:40 p.m.
What will be different, however, is the landscape at this year’s event as work is underway on the Optimist Hill winter park.
“There is some construction that recently started and therefore the hill part of the park will be off limits,” said Rob Belyk, chair of Optimist Canada Day.
He said security will be on hand for the event and organizers hope people will respect the fence and signage.
“(People) won’t be able to get as close to the fireworks as they have in past years, but you’ll still have great access lines from the park,” Belyk said.
Belyk added some of the events — such as children’s games, some of the flea market, the free bike valet and displays including the stock cars and fire department — are being separated into the disc golf area of the park.
“But the main events — the beer gardens, the food trucks and the stage itself — will be in the main grounds at Diefenbaker Park,” he said.
There is no charge to enter the park, however, paid parking will be available at Prairieland Park for $10 a vehicle.
There will be traffic restrictions in place around Diefenbaker Park during the celebration, and most prominently after the fireworks end when police officers will be directing traffic.
People are urged to arrive at least one hour before the scheduled start time of the fireworks. After the fireworks start, there will no longer be access into the park.
Police say drivers should expect significant delays when leaving the park and surrounding area.
Drivers are also reminded to avoid stopping or parking on busy roadways and bridges to watch the fireworks.
Cyclists will be treated to secure bike parking at a free bike valet.
Here’s the complete schedule of events:
- 8-11 a.m. Buffet breakfast ($9.00)
- 9-9:45 a.m. Indigenous Dance & Drums – St. Mary’s Oskayak Troupe
- 10-11 a.m. Official Ceremonies
- 11:30-1:30 p.m. Saskatchewan Intercultural Association Entertainment
- 2-2:30 p.m. Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble
- 3-3:45 p.m. Brock Andrews
- 4-4:45 p.m. Michele Dubois
- 5-5:45 p.m. Codie Prevost
- 6:15-7 p.m. Transcontinental Blues Band
- 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Screamer
- 9-10:30 p.m. Stuck In The 80’s
- 10:40 p.m. Fireworks presented by Nutrien