Feature Story                                                                                                      Thursday, July 4, 2013


Park Patriots

Chilliwack celebrates Canada's 146th birthday

Staff/Voice photos


Every kid had their trusty water bottle during the stifling heat at Townsend Park on Monday.


e Canadians are a proud bunch and we like to show our pride, but for a lot of Chilliwack residents, Monday was just too hot to be patriotic. As the temperature crept up toward 30C, bleacher seats emptied and amusement ride queues shortened.


But for those who could handle it, the Canada Day bash at Townsend Park was the best community event of the year.


Chilliwack Community Arts Council president Rod Hudson and his group put together an amazing family fest that just gets better every year. The event, originally held at Heritage Park, moved to the more central Townsend Park last year and they've never looked back.


All the activities at Townsend Park were free for the day. Prospera Centre offered ice skating and the Leisure Center had swimming and you could have owned the Landing Sports Centre if you showed up with a lacrosse stick.


Evergreen Hall had pickle ball demonstrations. There were even a couple of BC Lions football players on-hand throwing the ball with the kids.

Last year, the Exhibition Park grandstand was open. This year, the turf is being replaced with artificial grass, so people looking to sit down out of the sun drifted off to other locations.

MP Mark Strahl brought greetings from the federal government and mayor Sharon Gaetz had a few words on behalf of the City.

She said the city paid for $20,000 for the fireworks display held over the soccer fields kitty corner from Prospera Centre.

Jeff Bonner and his team from Tractorgrease Studio did a bang-up job once again with the stage, sound and lights.

The evening show on the main stage featured the excellent local talent of Spiderlodge and Lori Paul's (photo below) stunning vocals covering songs from their new CD called Mighty Fine Time. Chilliwack bands The Colebrook Shepards, Do Ja, and The Lounge Hounds rounded out the entertainment line-up.

The Lounge Hounds bass player Evan Duncan, told The Voice earlier in the day, that he and the guys were having a great time playing at the park. They hammered out 2 solid sets on the car show stage, before hitting the main stage later on in the evening prior to the fireworks.

The band has built a good fan base in Chilliwack and Duncan says that recently they've been playing other parts of BC.

"We have a good following out here," he said. "We're trying to branch out into Vancouver and we've gone up north a couple of times to Prince George and Quesnel.

He says they've also played with Elvis tribute artist Steve Elliot.

Currently, Duncan says the band is looking forward to releasing a CD that they're working on with friends at Tractorgrease Studio in Chilliwack.

Catch The Lounge Hounds live at the 2nd Annual Rockabilly Night Out at the Best Western Hotel on Lickman Rd. from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $20 at the door or through the band's website: www.theloungehounds.webs.com

Download Mayor Sharon Gaetz's speech here and MP Mark Strahl's speech here.

For more information, call 604-769-ARTS (2787) or visit the Arts Council website at: www.chilliwackartscouncil.com/index.php/canada-day-celebrations

See more photos below.


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