Canada day finally arrived, and Charlottetown was feeling patriotic. The whole city was buzzing with tourists, small children clambering to get to the fair grounds, and we were on our way to the main stage. Tickets for the Canada Day show were free, but if, like us, you had failied to get yours online in May and June, a thousand or so tickets were being given away at the gates, on the day of the concert. I was convinced that everyone would be looking for a ticket, so I woke Rachel up earlier than she wanted, and we got our spots at the concert grounds. Due to my primo planning, we were fifth or so in line, a line which grew steadily throughout the day, even though we were four hours early for the ticket release, and only nine or so hours early for Barenaked Ladies. Rachel was not impressed. We burned our two day-old sunburns waiting in the sun, ran out of water again, and had to go to Tim Horton’s on the side of the road for a lunch break. But it was all worth it to be some of the first fifty to get tickets.
Because we were so early, we got to see all of the opening acts, including Drum!, Nova Scotian native Classified, and David Myles. Classified at Mr. Myles were up together for a couple of songs, but having seen them both in Nova Scotia in May, the real excitement was for Barenaked Ladies. Even without Steven Page, they rocked the classics, and some of their newer stuff off their recently released album, ‘Boomerang’. Of course, we also got patriotic and the whole band, plus the 15,000 fans packing the concert grounds sang ‘O Canada’, in unison, flags raised high. The fireworks that followed were spectacular, some of the best in Canada we learned later, perhaps only trumped by Parliament Hill. Charlottetown knows how to throw a party.
Getting out of there was a nightmare, and we had to hurry and get back on the highway. Rachel had to be back at work by 9 the next morning, so we joined the throngs of drunken party-goers and spent an hour crawling out of the city. The adrenaline from the music kept us going well past midnight, when we finally crashed at a motel just as we got back to Nova Scotia. The next morning by 6 we were driving again, stopping only for coffee, reminicsing about the awesome night we had.
There’s really only one way to trump Canada Day in the home of Confederation, so next year… Ottawa!