Photo: Chilliwack’s Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve. Source: Shannon Clattenburg via Flickr.
This Saturday, July 16th is the 100th birthday of both Parks Canada and BC Parks. Special birthday celebrations for Parks Day are happening all over the country, so we decided to select 6 different places in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains where you can celebrate these momentous events:
1. Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve
Chilliwack’s Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve has planned for a fun filled day this Saturday. From 10am until 4pm you can experience nature walks, crafts and activities such guided bird watching, family adventure tours, nature story times, and more. For more details, visit their website at www.chilliwackblueheron.com. Thanks to Tourism Chilliwack for putting this event on our radar!
2. Fort Langley National Historic Site
Come to Fort Langley National Historic Site this Saturday from 9am until 6pm. Admission will be free and the first 100 visitors will receive a free souvenir. If you’ve never visited Fort Langley before, it’s really quite a special place. For Canadian history buffs, Fort Langley was originally a Hudson Bay Company fur trading post which was essentially the first European settlement in the Lower Mainland! Nowadays you could describe the fort as a living history museum. Come this Saturday to learn how to camp, discover what it takes to survive in the wilderness, learn to bake bannock (a First Nations bread), watch a historic weapons demonstration and much more! For full details, visit the Fort Langley National Historic Site website here.
3. Stanley Park
Stanley Park’s Brockton Oval (right by the totem poles) is one of the official Parks Canada birthday celebrations happening across the country. Festivities will take place from noon until 8:30pm with concerts starting at 4pm. K’Naan, The Sheepdogs, and Kate Morgan will all be performing for free. Meet Olympic gold medalist Maelle Ricker, learn how to camp, fish, surf, climb, hike, and even geocache! There will be historic characters, park rangers, souvenir snapshot opportunities, as well as a Kids Zone, a Beaver Tales Theatre, Parka the Beaver and Jerry the Moose. Don’t forget to have a slice of the centennial birthday cake! For the full itinerary of events, see the Parks Canada website here.
4. Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
Spend your Saturday afternoon at Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – a former working cannery along the Fraser River that has now been turned into full fledged interactive museum. Their Parks Canada Birthday festivities include free admission, free birthday cake at noon, live music (Swing 2 Beat is the featured band), Parks Canada-themed kids crafts, and historical walking tours of Steveston. While most of the activities are free, there is a cost for the walking tour, but it’s only about $7.20 per person – definitely worth it if you enjoy learning about local history. For more information, visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s blog here.
5. Hell’s Gate Airtram
Lordy, lordy, look who’s forty! Yes, it may be Parks Canada’s birthday, but it’s also the 40th birthday of Hell’s Gate Airtram! They’ll be celebrating their 40th birthday this Saturday from 10am until 5pm. The country rock band Uncle Nestor will be performing on the deck overlooking the mighty Fraser at 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. Bring the whole family along as they’re offering a very special $40 family rate which includes 2 adults and up to 6 youth (aged 6-18). This admission includes a “Seasons Pass” – the opportunity for you to come back for “free” until October 10th. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re also offering $4 specials throughout the day – kids meals, 1 scoop waffle cones, and gold panning! For full details, visit their website at http://hellsgateairtram.com.
6. Alice Lake Provincial Park
Celebrate BC Parks’ 100th birthday in Brackendale (just north of Squamish) at Alice Lake Provincial Park. Located just minutes off of the Sea to Sky highway, Alice Lake will be hosting a fun family-friendly scavenger hunt! You can also test your BC Parks knowledge with some trivia and take part in the cake cutting ceremony to celebrate this special birthday! The event begins at 2pm at the park amphitheatre. And later on in the evening, guest astronomer Bill Burnyeat will share his wealth of knowledge about the stars and planets in our solar system. After dark, you’ll have a chance to view some of these incredible celestials through a high-powered telescope. The event is all ages and begins with the presentation at 7pm in the amphitheatre, followed by the night sky viewing. For full details, visit the BC Parks website here.