Celebrate Canada Day responsibly: police
Published Saturday, June 30, 2012 5:20PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, July 1, 2012 11:56AM MDT
Edmontonians have their choice of a number of Canada Day activities to celebrate the country’s 145th birthday, but with large crowds expected for the celebrations, police are warning they'll be out in full force, working to keep rowdiness to a minimum.
Police say they’ll be watching out for public intoxication.
“As far as staffing goes, we are going to have a high, visible presence throughout the city,” said Insp. Darrin Balanik.
“Our expectation of the public is that they act and celebrate responsibly and within the law.”
Police are reminding the public that open liquor, urinating in public and loud, obnoxious or aggressive behaviour are all offences and will attract police attention.
“We will have staffing specifically for the event locations as well as identified entertainment zones," Balanik said.
"Our expectations are that if you’re going to consume alcohol prior to attending a public event, that you know your limitations, drink responsibly because public intoxication is an issue and in general public intoxication leads to other issues."
Fire officials are also issuing a warning. Those who plan to set off fireworks are reminded to have a permit.
Crews spent Saturday preparing Kinsmen Park for the biggest fireworks display of its kind in western Canada.
“There’s around 1,500 kilograms of fireworks,” said Brad Dezotell with Fireworks Spectaculars.
“That’s a lot of fireworks. This is one of the largest fireworks shows in Canada and the largest show in western Canada so if you like big, traditional fireworks shows, this is the one to come see.”
The show will run for about 14 minutes starting at 11 p.m. Sunday .
“It’s different every year. We do a custom show every year for the city of Edmonton so there never is a repeat one year to the next,” Dezotell said.
This year Edmontonians can take in the show from Telus Field, a new viewing spot. The legislature grounds, Victoria Park, Ezio Faraone Park, Dantzer’s Hill and Government House Park are also recommended viewing areas.
The city is reminding drivers about road closures due to the fireworks show.
River Valley Road will shut down around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The Walterdale Bridge and High Level Bridge will close around 10:15 p.m. Routes will reopen about an hour and a half after the fireworks show ends.
“It’s Canada Day. Have a little bit of patience,” said Brad Vanderhoek with the city’s traffic control section.
“There are lots of people out and about.”
And while the fireworks show may be the highlight of Canada Day but there will be plenty to do throughout the day across the city.
“There’s something for everybody all day long,” said Ellen Finn, director of civic events with the city.
Live entertainment will be offered at the legislature grounds from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A family-friendly “silly parade” will take over Whyte Avenue at noon.
Canada Day activities are also taking place at City Hall, the Edmonton Valley Zoo, Muttart Conservatory, and Fort Edmonton Park, just to name a few.
“There’s something special about Edmonton on Canada Day,” Finn said.
“People celebrate throughout the day all day long from dawn to dusk.”
With files from Jessica Earle