Insider's Guide

Lakeside Park for Canada Day 2019, eh?

June 22, 2019

Throughout the first year that we landed in Nelson, a song from Annie often played in my head:


I bet there's a little Annie in every new Nelsonite. 🙋

It seemed like at every family-friendly event in Nelson that we visited for the first time, there were smiling folks introducing us to another new awesome opportunity in our adopted city. (see what I did there?)

When our family ventured to Lakeside Park for our first Canada Day celebration a couple years ago, it felt like one of those Annie moments. 

As soon as we arrived, we felt the Nelson vibe, and knew we were all going to enjoy ourselves. Across the whole park, from the concessions all the way to the shore, the festivities were in full swing.

canada day lakeside park
  Red shirts with leaves - check!

Fun activities for kids? You bet!

Family-friendly events in Lakeside Park are always a good time, and the Canada Day celebrations do not disappoint! There are so many fun things for kids to do, from bouncy castles to getting a face painting to building sand castles to arts and crafts... all throughout the park!

Castles, the bouncy kind
canada day lakeside park sand castle
Castles, the sandy kind
canada day lakeside park sand castle

One of the traditions of this Canada Day event is the serving of a giant birthday cake. It's huge.

canada day lakeside park cake

We also got to experience our first ride on Nelson’s famous 110-year-old streetcar. On Canada Day, the trolley rides are free, thanks to sponsorship from the Nelson and District Credit Union and the Nelson Electric Tramway Society. The ride is a romantic, scenic journey along the waterfront, including a jaunt through the mall parking lot. :)

canada day lakeside park streetcar ride
canada day lakeside park streetcar ride
Ding ding!

aaand... Flash mob!

In a great example of members of the local arts scene coming together to plan a fun family experience, Stelio Calagias of Front Street Dance and Danielle Gibson from Dance Umbrella conspired to have Nelsonites randomly appear from the crowd and begin dancing a simple routine to Proud Mary, performed live by Stelio’s band, the Baker Street Blues.

My dance-loving daughter jumped at the chance to be involved, while my little guy was just happy to bounce around in my arms. That’s Danielle on the left, daughter in tow, while Stelio is singing (off-camera)!


And I can casually join a flash mob with my kids? "I think I'm gonna like it heeeeeeere..."

By the way, the Baker Street Blues are back on stage at this year’s festivities, alongside a great lineup of music all day long!  Check out the schedule of events here.

Fireworks are a blast! 

[ahem] dad joke.

Since it’s a super long summer day, jam-packed with fun, the kids were exhausted. We wanted to check out the fireworks, so we needed to take a break at home, where both kids passed out quick.

When we returned to the park for the evening activities, the kids were dressed in their evening wear: PJs, red hoodies, and noise-cancelling headphones.

canada day lakeside park fireworks
Past their bedtime. Can't hear anything.

The colourful park scenes continued once it got dark, as festivalgoers with LED hula hoops and LED poi created mesmerizing rainbow trails. Later, we were treated to slick synchronized routines from the Nelson Rhythm Ropers and their glowing LED jump ropes.

canada day lakeside park rhythm ropers
Don't skip the Nelson Rhythm Ropers!

As the festival wrapped up, we gathered to watch impressive fireworks explode over the lake, which was the perfect conclusion to a full day of fun. (Shout out to the Nelson Professional Firefighters who safely light up the night sky, and the local businesses who sponsor it all!)

See Ya at Canada Day in Lakeside Park 2019!

Organized by the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, and supported by community-minded local businesses and community groups, the Canada Day celebration is a real local community event. Everyone is so nice and generous - it makes you love where you live.

If you want to get started on the fun early, the Nelson Lions Club is hosting their annual Pancake Breakfast (this is the 67th year!) on Baker Street (500 block). Festivities in the park begin at 10:30am, and run until the fireworks at 10pm. Nap times are whenever you choose.

Remember to take care of yourselves with hydration, snacks, and breaks in the shade. Bring beach chairs and/or blankets. And - as Annie would say - you’re never fully dressed without a…


See you at the park! Come and say hi - we’ll be the ones wearing red. 😉🇨🇦

Wanna know about more upcoming events for kids and families in Nelson?

Check out our events calendar, where you can discover the latest fun things to do in and around Nelson. Plus, you can sign up for our newsletter below, and we’ll keep you updated on what's going down in Nelson town.

Happy Canada Day!

Avi Phillips is a guy who loves working from home in Nelson, where he gets to grow Nelson Kids with his wife, and spend as much time as possible with his cool kids in this amazing town. Sometimes Avi wears the hat of a theatre performer or director.

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