RUSSELL — Canada Day in Eastern Ontario got off to a soggy start, with rain causing the postponement of fireworks for both the Russell and Vars celebrations, but lots of people still came out to mark the nation’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
In Russell, the parade featured decorated bikes, three horses and riders, antique cars, firetrucks, including the antique firetruck which has been the most recent restoration project for the Russell and District Historical Society, and various groups with their decorated floats. The Russell Village Women’s Institute and Russell Lions Club in the parade also celebrated milestones. This year is the 120th anniversary of the formation of the Women’s Institute, the worldwide women’s advocacy organization, which began in southern Ontario. The Russell Lions are celebrating both their 70th anniversary and the Lions Clubs’ 100th anniversary.
Other events throughout the day in Russell were the Legion breakfast, the Scouts barbecue, kids’ games and activities, volleyball, hot dog eating contest, musical and children’s entertainers, and a tug-of-war. The most popular event for children, though, turned out to be sliding in the mud on the baseball diamonds. Most kids at the fairgrounds were covered with mud by the afternoon.
In Vars, families came out to enjoy the bouncy buildings and entertainment in the field west of the village on Devine Rd. At both events fireworks were set off on July 2 instead of July 1, due to thunderstorms passing through at the wrong time.