Oh Canada! It’s that time of year again – time to celebrate the birth of The Great White North. And what better place to get your fill of maple leaf flags and fireworks than in Charlottetown, the Birthplace of Confederation? The capital city pulls out all the stops to create an unforgettable, family-friendly birthday celebration that visitors and Islanders alike will enjoy. Want to make the most of your Canada Day in Charlottetown? Read on for our top tips and not-to-miss Canada Day activities in the city!
This 60+ acre green expanse takes centre stage in the City of Charlottetown’s Canada Day celebrations. Always popular amongst families, the Canada Day Fun Zone offers FREE activities all day long (noon – 7:00pm), including face painting, inflatables, and amusement-style rides.
Insider’s Tip: Lineups at the Fun Zone will be shortest during early evening/dinner time – plan accordingly!
If live music is your thing, find your way to the Victoria Park Cultural Pavilion, where an all-day musical celebration fittingly called Coastal Vibes, will kick off at 1:25PM and run until 10:00PM. The stellar line-up of musicians that will take the stage includes Calm Baretta, Ava & Lily Rashed, I and the Village, Dylan Menzie, Lady Soul, Mo Kenney, Summer & Bray and Port Cities.
Charlottetown’s fireworks are a not-to-be-missed spectacle and the largest display east of Ottawa. When choosing the perfect perch from which to view the show, consider the following: Are you walking or driving? Are you bringing young kids with you or going out with a group of friends? Are you planning to continue celebrating or head home immediately after the show?
Victoria Park is a favourite for families and those within easy walking distance of the park. With the fireworks being shot off of the Victoria Park Boardwalk, behind the cannons, it’s definitely the prime viewing location for most. Peake’s Wharf Historic Waterfront is also a popular vantage point from which to watch the fireworks and ideal for those enjoying a pre-fireworks drinks at one of the city’s many downtown watering holes.
The best place to park your car if you’re attending activities at Victoria Park is at the While parking in the city is free on Canada Day (and every Sunday!), bear in mind that after you’ve been dazzled by the fireworks show, the streets leading out of Charlottetown can get quite congested.
Charlottetown’s walkability is one of its many charming qualities and especially handy during days when there are festivals or big events in town. So, if you’re accommodations are within walking or biking (or rollerblading!) distance, why not soak up some rays and get a little exercise en route to your Canada Day destinations? And if walking or biking isn’t an option, consider carpooling with friends.
The best place to park your car if you’re attending activities at Victoria Park is at the Provincial Government Building parking lot on Terry Fox Drive. There will be also an accessible parking lot off of Brighton Road by the Ball Field for anyone with mobility issues.. While parking anywhere in the city is free on Canada Day (and every Sunday), bear in mind that after you’ve been dazzled by the fireworks show, the streets leading out of Charlottetown can get quite congested. Factor extra time into your return trip home!
Back by popular demand following 2017’s Canada 150 celebrations, Charlottetown’s Living Flag activity will begin at 12:00PM. in front of the Victoria Park Cultural Pavilion. Participants are once again encouraged to demonstrate their Canadian pride by wearing red and white as the group comes together to form a massive Canadian flag.
Head to the Confederation Centre of the Art’s outdoor amphitheatre for the premiere of the 2018 Young Company’s FREE noontime performance. Comprise of 13 talented young artists from across Canada, the Young Company always puts on a high energy, inspiring show that explores Canadian themes and issues. This year’s show is entitled Aqsarniit (“awe-saw-nee” ), the Inuktitut word used to describe the northern lights, and will re-examine the stories of Canada’s past and explore what stories we hope to be told in the future.
What better day than Canada Day to get the inside scoop on Charlottetown’s key role in the birth of our nation? While Province House is closed for restoration, you can visit a replica of the Confederation Chamber in the upper foyer of the Confederation Centre of the Arts. While there, be sure to watch Parks Canada’s new film, “A Building of Destiny”, which takes viewers back in time to the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, when the first discussions on forming a nation took place. This film also showcases related themes, including the First Nations context at the time of Confederation and the role of women in Victorian society.
If you’re an Anne fan or simply love a good story filled with laughs, smiles and few tears, then you may just want to treat yourself to a matinee at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Anne of Green Gables – The Musical returns for is 54th season on the mainstage. A truly spectacular show featuring a cast of 28 triple threats, a full orchestra, a revolving stage and a timeless story that will give you all the feels.
A little preparation can go a long way to ensuring you and your family have an unforgettable Canada Day in Charlottetown. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
We sure hope our Canada Day Guide sets you on course to have an unforgettable July 1st! For more information about the activities at Victoria Park, visit the City of Charlottetown’s website or Facebook page.
Take note that cancellations or weather-related announcements will be issued through local media, the City’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/CityofCharlottetown and on Twitter @ChtownPE.
Not able to visit during the Canada celebrations? No worries! Regardless of what time of year you visit PEI’s capital city, you can get your fill of history by visiting the Story of Confederation at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, taking a walking tour with the Confederation Players (summer only) or simply strolling the downtown core, where you’ll happen upon interpretive signage about the Charlottetown Conference and statues of the Fathers of Confederation. Oh Canada, Eh?!