Ottawa celebrates Canada Day — in person

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For the first time since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago, people are gathering in Ottawa for official Canada Day celebrations.

Today’s festivities are not taking place on Parliament Hill, however, as the historic seat of the Government of Canada is in the midst of a lengthy rehabilitation project.

Instead, they stand near the Canadian War Museum at LeBreton Flats, just west of downtown.

“We immigrated to Canada four years ago, but we spent almost two and a half years inside,” said Peter Do, sitting with his family Friday afternoon on the festival grounds.

“[It’s] the first day I enjoy Canada Day. I’m so excited to [be] go out and share this moment with people.”

The party is expected to stretch late into the evening, with a slate of musical performances starting at 8 p.m. and fireworks scheduled for 10 p.m.

Here’s a look at some of today’s scenes in the nation’s capital.

A person dressed as Captain Canada checks their shield before going through a security checkpoint upon arriving for Canada Day celebrations at LeBreton Flats on Friday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
A family sits on a grassy field during a festival.
Peter Do, wearing the red t-shirt, sits with his family on the LeBreton Flats field. They immigrated to Canada from Vietnam four years ago, and Do says they are extremely happy to participate in Canada Day celebrations in person. (Rachelle Elsiufi/CBC)
A crowd at the site of a festival is seen from above.
Drone footage captures the scale of the celebrations at LeBreton Flats on Friday afternoon. (Patrick Morell/CBC)
People walk and shake hands with a crowd.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau are accompanied by their children Hadrien, Xavier and Ella-Grace as they arrive for Friday’s celebrations. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
A man smiles while dancing in front of a Canadian flag.
Bhangra dancer Gurdeep Pandher was among the long list of artists to take the stage at LeBreton Flats. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Three people stand together in a ceremony.
Governor General Mary Simon, center, participates in an Indigenous reflection ceremony near the shores of the Ottawa River. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
People participate in a drumming circle.
People take part in a drumming circle at the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse on Canada Day, part of an event to draw attention to the life and historical significance of the largely forgotten Algonquin great leader Constant Pinesi. (Dan Taekema/CBC)
A child waves a Canadian flag while being hoisted above a crowd of people.
A child waves the Canadian flag during the Friday festivities. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
A rider and his horse jump over an obstacle.
A rider and horse perform a jump during the annual RCMP Musical Ride on Canada Day. (Catherine Morasse/Radio-Canada)
A man walks down a street covered in Canadian flags.
Elsewhere in Ottawa, a man decked out in dozens of Canadian flags walks down Sparks Street. (Catherine Morasse/Radio-Canada)
A crowd waves Canadian flags and carries protest signs.
A crowd of people, many protesting against pandemic health mandates and other restrictions, gather near Parliament Hill. In normal years, Parliament Hill hosts official celebrations, but much of the site is currently under construction. (Frédéric Pépin/Radio-Canada)
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