Well it’s that time of year again: Summertime. If that doesn’t instill a mild sense of panic in you then you’ve clearly never had to witness summer in Banff.

This year started off with a particularly massive bang in that Canada Day happened to fall on a Friday, making it not only the beginning of our summer season but also a long weekend.

There were like a million people. It was nuts.

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Good thing I know all the best hiding places!

I don’t really know why, but a lot of people seem to like the idea of spending Canada Day in Canada’s first National Park. I see the appeal, I do. But man, this town just is not big enough for that kind of traffic.

The great thing about Canada Day in Banff is that we really know how to celebrate it. Everyone in town gets involved and go all out! The Whyte Museum has sidewalk painting for kids, there’s vendors and live music and dancers in Central Park, a parade, and fireworks!

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Canada Day fireworks from Vermillion Lakes, Banff AB. Photo by Seven Shi.

Working at the Visitor Center downtown, we’re right in the thick of things; which I was pretty worried about but didn’t have to be, thankfully. Since there was so much going on that day, people just wanted to enjoy the show, which made our jobs a lot easier. It was a beautiful day and people just wanted to enjoy themselves.

Some of the most excited people we saw on Canada Day were people who weren’t from Canada. Since their dollar is so strong right now we get a lot of Americans in town and they were some of the most into the day’s festivities, which I thought was really sweet.

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No one in this photo is American, but whatever.

It got me thinking about our two nations’ birthday traditions. Just look at what we call them; America has Independence Day and Canada has, well, Canada Day. At their most basic levels I feel like Independence Day is primarily about celebrating personal freedoms; America’s independence from Britain. Canada Day is a celebration of the people for their country. America celebrates its freedom, Canada celebrates its becoming a recognized independent nation.

As much as I like England, I think both Canada and America understand the difficulties faced when trying to distance ourselves from them.

But maybe that’s just me.

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Yoho National Park BC. Photo by Seven Shi.

Any way you slice it the beginning of July is a hectic time for us in Banff and it can cause a lot of tensions to run high. Like the song goes, we’re here for a good time, and as long as both tourists and locals can remember that, we’re all gonna be ok.

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