I must admit, I am crazy about being a Canuck. Sure, I love healthcare, diversity, butter tarts, and paying taxes (cries). But this year the least taxing and most delicious ways to be all things Canadian is to join the country’s 150 sesquicentennial and celebrate our epic birthday with Canuck pride. Here's how to join the biggest Canada Day celebration in history on a Loonie of a budget.
1. Head to The Hill.
Ottawa has been pegged as the place to be for Canada's 150. The stage may be set to host U2, Alessia Cara, Cirque du Soleil and many performances on Parliament Hill, but don't miss festivities in Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History for family-friendly events and performances. Look to the sky around 11PM when the largest Canada Day fireworks show will end the day by blowing minds and eardrums too. Yes, everything is free!
Check out Official Canada Day Weekend 2017 Festivities for all the details.
2. Celebrate in your neighbourhood.
Love Canada, but hate crowds? Skip The Hill (and the pricy hotel bookings) by sticking closer to home on Canada Day. Many communities across Canada will host events in local parks and throw street parties near you. To get a free invite, check your neighbourhood Facebook and Instagram groups -- these primary organizational spots are where community leaders can organize events and collect donations for fireworks.
3. Backyard BBQ.
Canada Day long weekend becomes a family and friends event with life's simple pleasures: a yard and a BBQ. With meat prices on the up, choose cheaper cuts over pricier pieces to keep costs low. For example, opting for chicken legs and thighs over breasts, or flank steak over porterhouse can save you up to 50% on dinner. And using Flipp to find the best deals on chicken breasts or steak can save you 30% (and more) on preferred cuts.
Don't forget the cheerfully cheap grilling options like hamburgers and hot dogs. Kid-friendly and easier to eat at an outdoor event, burgers and dogs can be dressed up with fancy buns, funky condiments, and Canadian cheese for the win.
Keep a section of the grill clear for vegetarians and vegans too. BBQ corn is a classic, and grilled portobello mushroom caps with zucchini and tomatoes brighten up dishes while keeping the costs in check.
4. Get some gear.
Show your Canadian colours by wearing a little red, white, and frugal. Flipp retailers have stocked all sorts of Canada Day gear, decor, clothing, and Canadian flags at price points for everyone.
5. Go digital?
Download the Passport 2017 app to find events, enter contests, see concerts, and experience heritage and history for free. Passport gives you access to everything Canadian, eh!
Kerry K. Taylor is a consumer expert at Squawkfox.com.