Muskoka To-DAILY

O Canada ~ what another great Canadian day in Muskoka July 1st

MUSKOKA — Canada Day was a sea of red and white border to border in Muskoka.

Ron Ochaya, of Huntsville, and his family enjoyed the festivities at the Algonquin Centre. Left, Kevin, 13, Joshua, 15, Joanne, 9, and Henry, 12.

Ron Ochaya, of Huntsville, and his family enjoyed the festivities at the Algonquin Centre. Left, Kevin, 13, Joshua, 15, Joanne, 9, and Henry, 12.

From Parry Sound to the Kawarthas and from Simcoe County to Nipissing Muskokans celebrated their country’s 147th birthday with cake and back back bacon, games and animals, and free admission to National Historic sites.

It’s been a busy week, especially for MP Tony Clement and MPP Norm Miller who have been in five parades and attended as many strawberry socials to mark the occasion with cake and ice cream for everywhere they went.

In Huntsville July 1, the day began at 9:30 a.m. indoors at the Algonquin Centre when drizzle forced the fun off the water at RivermillPark.

After the Muskoka Concert Band played the national anthem, Claude Doughty — Muskoka’s G8 mayor — welcomed everyone on his last day on the national stage. (He’s not running again Oct. 27 in the municipal election.)

He talked about the day’s many events around town and introduced Clement and Miller, who brought greetings from Ottawa and the provincial capital of Toronto.

After stopping for a bite of back bacon on a bun from the Huntsville Lions Club, Miller headed north to Burk’s Falls and Clement went south to Gravenhurst, where the sun was out at Gull Lake Rotary Park.

In Gravenhurst Clement cut some cake, played with a macaw, chatted with Mayor Paisley Donaldson and citizens, while watching kids have their faces painted and eating hot dogs.

Across town at Bethune House, a Canadian National Historic site, there was more cake and lemonade and free admission to the interpretive and memorial house, where native son Dr. Norman Bethune was born.

Kun Ma and her mom, Yaping Jinang, son Yiheng and husband Mark rest on the front porch of Bethune House.

Kun Ma and her mom, Yaping Jinang, son Yiheng and husband Mark rest on the front porch of Bethune House.

It was busy with families, including a number of Chinese visitors and its newest local member of the Bethune family.

Ten-month-old Yiheng (Henry) Ma made his first Canada Day visit to the site, with his mom, Kun, a Parks Canada interpretive guide at the site. He was joined by his grandma, Yaping Jinang, and dad, Mark Kun.

And Melanie Aide, a former student at Bethune High School in Scarborough, brought her family back and gave them a tour of the site, stopping to chat with interpretive guide Claudia Vergara, who greeted everyone in a period dress circa 1890 when Bethune was born in the upstairs master bedroom that is part of the great displays undergoing renovations.

They just missed a June display of Bethune’s artwork. In addition to being a leading socialized medicine surgeon in Canada and China, where he died, he was also an equal artist. The works are part of the site’s permanent collection.

Canada Day events continued throughout the day, including one of the best that began at noon at the Port Sydney Beach.

And as always, the gigantic Rotary Club fireworks overlooking the falls in downtown Bracebridge wrapped another great day in Muskoka, Canada.

See photo gallery of Canada Day events below, click photos to enlarge.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=19008

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