Promenade Days & Canada Day
Sunday, August 10, 2014
One of the many things that Downtown Barrie knows how to do well is taking full advantage of a gorgeous summer weekend. Every year the Promenade Days & Canada Day celebrations go off without a hitch, drawing in huge crowds to the downtown core, to proudly celebrate this beautiful city and this remarkable country. 2014 marked the 38th annual Promenade Days & Canada Day festival in Downtown Barrie, and the attractions were more plentiful than ever. After the long and grueling winter we all endured, this weekend acted as a kick-off to the summer season, drawing everyone outside to enjoy the sunshine and to soak up all that Downtown Barrie has to offer.
One of the hallmarks of Promenade Days is the enthusiastic participation of the Downtown retailers, many who support the event by setting up pop-up stores, and displays along the pedestrian only Dunlop Street. The entire weekend really is a “great opportunity to celebrate Barrie and celebrate downtown”, as Chad Ballantine from the Creative Space puts it. Dunlop Street comes alive with local talent, hand crafted jewelry vendors, cup cake booths, clothing sales, and live entertainment filling the air. Whether you are browsing the shops, visiting the petting zoo, getting your face painted by Clarabella the Clown, or sitting on a patio enjoying a cold beverage listening to the live music, the downtown truly becomes a place of community and family with something for everyone to enjoy. And that is only a small fraction of what goes on during Promenade Days.
That year, illusionist Rob Testa, from Zero Gravity Circus, performed card tricks on the street, pulling in a crowd of awe-struck people who no doubt were asking, “how’d he do that?” The area was also surrounded by inflatables and festival like games for kids of all ages, and, of course, it wouldn’t be Promenade Days if the iconic man on stilts wearing a top hat wasn’t weaving in and out of the crowd all weekend.
The weekend festivities didn’t end there, as the party rolled into Heritage Park on Canada Day, Tuesday, July 1st. The weather couldn’t have been any better to wander around the attractions and listen to some local live entertainment by the waterfront. The day was also commemorated by the much-anticipated cutting of the Canada Day cake, done for the past few years by Jennifer and her amazing team at Cakes by Design. Each year they challenge themselves to come up with a more creative, more incredible cake, and this year they truly out did themselves. To top off an amazing day, and weekend, Downtown Barrie was treated to a wondrous firework display that popped and sizzled over top of Kempenfelt Bay. Another great year and an excellent way to start off the summer.