Canada Day festivities in downtown Ponoka

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ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

Canadians who aren’t at the Stampede grounds on July 1 will still be able to show their pride — and fill their stomachs at the same time.

Canada Day celebrations will take place at both Klaglahachie Square and at Hamilton’s IGA.

In previous years, the celebrations have been relatively small, but this year, they are expected to be much bigger.

“The town receives a grant from the federal government for Canada Day celebrations and they asked us if we could team up with them for this year,” said Hamilton’s IGA’s Jim Hamilton.

“When they asked me to tie in, I decided that we should ramp it up a bit.”

The festivities, which run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., include bouncy castles and slides, 79-cent hot dogs and hamburgers, cake, ice cream and entertainment. Town councillors will serve ice cream.

Runners-up from the Ponoka Stampede Talent Show will sing every half hour during the event.

For Hamilton, it’s about much more than providing entertainment for people — it’s about Canada.

“I’m an incredibly patriotic person,” said Hamilton. “This particular event traditionally is all about Canada and the local people.”

For the last 30 years, IGA has been celebrating Canada Day. The event in past years has drawn close to 3,000 people.

Klaglahachie Square will celebrate Canada Day with a bang.

At 52nd Avenue and 51st Street, visitors are invited to take part in a carnival, street dance, bouncy castles, family games and old time photos between 4 and 10 p.m.