Once again, Snow Lake’s Canada Day celebration began with the community dance on the evening of June 30. Last year’s social was so successful that organizers surely felt there was no need to tamper with a proven commodity; with that in mind, 2014’s anchor act was back for a repeat performance. The folk/rock four piece called “Face to the Sky,” features former Snow Laker Cathy Denby and her niece Rikki Mclean Hampton; they picked up where they left off last year, with outstanding vocals (Mclean Hampton), some exceptional players and a great musical repertoire.
The following day, early risers assembled at the Senior Centre for the annual pancake breakfast. Following breakfast, most folks gathered their lawn chairs and set up along the predetermined route in anticipation of the Canada Day parade. As is the case each year, the parade features a myriad of floats sponsored by local business, industry and government agencies … with emergency vehicles providing the background soundtrack and participants supplying handfuls of candy. The judging of the parade saw the Legion Ladies Auxiliary take best overall designation; best Canada Day theme was given to the Health Auxiliary, and best small motors to Forsyth Agency.
The parade concluded at Sunset Bay Beach close to noon, but precisely at 12 p.m., 95-year-old Second World War Veteran Ben Foord raised the Maple Leaf as Zachary Roberts led those assembled in O Canada. Once Zach had finished, attention was focused on the cutting of the Canada Day cake. Mayor Kim Stephen posed for photos with parade marshall René Lamontagne and two Mounties in red serge, prior to cutting and passing out the cake, while the United Steelworkers Local 7106 handed out ice cream.
Following cake and ice cream, Deva Andrechuk setup for the Gardewine Kid’s Races and they began quickly and played out for a half hour or so; as did the money dig (cash in plastic bags hid in mounds of sand) in another area of Snow Lake’s spacious summer gathering place. Shortly thereafter, face painting, a fish pond, bouncy house, pie-eating contest, and a tug of war got underway in other areas of the beach. In still another, mini-golf and horse shoes went into full swing.
The beer gardens and a food booth (specializing in perogies, pickle on a stick, and cabbage rolls) were both popular spots and a dunk tank kept some entertained; while the beer garden talent show garnered almost everyone’s attention. A couple of family acts were particularly noteworthy: Chad Vinkle and his young daughter and Pete and Zach Roberts. With most activities concluding at around 6 p.m., the beach was blocked off and taken over by Snow Lake’s Volunteer Fire Department, as they put the finishing touches on the fireworks setup that they worked at all day.
With the dry conditions everywhere this year, there was some question whether the annual display would even take place; however, the question was quickly answered when they started setting up for them earlier in the day. As the daylight waned and clocks rolled around to midnight, Fire Chief Cory Anaka and the Snow Lake firefighters put on their much-anticipated yearly spectacle.
Every year on July 1, we all sit in awe as the firefighters paint their magic across the midnight sky and each year we all say, “Wow, that was even better than last year!” And ... it usually is! However, this year, due to some technical difficulties, they played out over almost an hour, starting and stopping several times as much of Snow Lake sat and wished that they would never end. We are certainly a lucky community to have this group of dedicated and courageous emergency personnel.