[dropcap]R[/dropcap]Richmond has been waiting a long time for this date to arrive, 200 years give or take a few days! If Richmond ever had a reason to celebrate this is it. So put on your party face and get ready to celebrate. A great weekend of activities has been laid on with something for absolutely everyone.
With the generous financial support of individual, business and government sponsors over $200K has been raised in support of this important event celebrating our history. Thanks to this generosity and thousands of hours of time and talent contributed by local volunteers and organizations throughout the community Richmond is set to enjoy a first class event befitting a bicentennial celebration!
It doesn’t matter if you live in Richmond, greater Ottawa or even the distant corners of the country, the welcome mat is out to everyone to join in!
What can you expect? According to Cydney Green who led the team of volunteers organizing the celebration:
“Our goal is to achieve a blend of the rich military history of Richmond, it’s pioneering roots, village residents and guests with some good food and plain old fashioned fun! Just come out and help us celebrate, you won’t be disappointed”
Most of the events will be centered on or near the Richmond Fairgrounds with lots of free parking and free admission. Food, beverages and the Saturday night event at the Arena have an admission fee.
On Friday evening, June 15, the gates will open at 4:30 pm. Food, free entertainment and a pub are all available including the famous “bacon on a bun”.
You will not want to miss the opening ceremonies from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Scott Moffatt will attend as dignitaries along with the Duke of Richmond and Cydney Green. Speeches will be short!
Military pageantry will come to life with music of the Governor General Foot Guards Ceremonial Band, a guard of honour comprised of members of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and period military reenactments. Performers such as the Canadian Military Wives Choir as well as Richmond’s own Doug and Pam Champagne are sure to help launch a memorable weekend. Of course no opening ceremony would be complete without fireworks!
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]Saturday’s events will kick off with a military themed parade at 11:00 am. Pipe bands and lots of drums will hearken back to the early days of the military settlement. Your blood will stir as the 100th Regiment of Foot, the 78th Fraser Highlanders, the 84th Regiment, the Fencibles/Fife and Drum, the Brockville Infantry, the Parachute Battalion and the Central Band march past. Floats, vintage vehicles and machinery will add to the historical feel of the event … 43 entries to date!
After the parade, visit the quilt shows, art show or the photo booth to have your picture taken with the Duke, the “Fox” or both! It is a must to mark the occasion and the photos will be sent to you free of charge. Take the kids to the fairgrounds to participate in all sorts of children’s activities both active and passive … 3 legged races, arm wrestling, a climbing wall, Zorb balls and miniature horses, sheep shearing and llamas to bubbles and balloons!
If food is on your mind there is everything from a luncheon at the United Church to old time campfire cooking at the fairgrounds, the Volunteer Fireman’s chicken BBQ as well as a host of food vendors to choose from.
With all the displays, ranging from antique cars, a working blacksmith, vintage carriages, military encampments and re-enactments… over 70 free activities in all … you will need to budget your time to take it all in. There is even a hands-on opportunity to fire a musket and kids can drill in uniform as they did during the War of 1812.
Don’t miss the one man Circus show presented by Carnival Diablo in the Vaudeville tent. Step inside and be prepared to be amazed by the ultimate sideshow.
Take a Horse Drawn Trolley Historical Tour of Richmond starting at the fair grounds at 1, 2 and 3 pm on Saturday or Sunday. From 1-4 pm on both days, take a self-guided walking tour of McBean St. where characters from Richmond’s days of old will guide you on a tour past some of Richmond’s historic buildings. You can also download a self-guided tour to your smart phone here.
The Central Band will assist with the unveiling of the Richmond Village Association’s latest addition to the Heritage Mural Gallery at 1:00pm. The mural by artist Karen Xarchos will hang on the the south wall of the arena and mark the 200th anniversary. Be sure to take note of the gallery, the story it tells and it’s latest addition while on the grounds.
You may just want to relax at The Duke of Richmond Public House where bands such as the Polished Brass Quintet – Including a guest performance by Tracey Brown and Ornella Kennedy; Little Mistaken; Highway Sunrise; and the Cougar Chick Tribute Band provide free entertainment. Or, if entertainment along with refreshments are more your style, the Fox Den (tent) will be serving beer and wine to the tunes of six different groups from 1:00 to 7:00 PM. Check out all the groups providing entertainment here on the Richmond200.ca website
The big show Saturday evening is a “Barn Dance” at the Richmond Memorial Community Centre featuring headliners Kelly Prescott, Jason Blaine and Meghan Patrick. Tickets $35 in advance or $40 at the door.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]Sunday begins with a pancake breakfast from 8 – 10:00 am at the Dining Hall followed by a Non-Denominational Church Service at the fairgrounds from 10 – 11:00 am. If you missed some of the displays and events available on Saturday or simply want to experience them again you are in luck. Many of Saturday’s events and displays repeat.
At 4:00 pm, just prior to the closing ceremonies, First Nations Performers – drummers, dancers and Inuit Throat Singers – will entertain in traditional dress along with cultural displays reflecting the history and heritage of our indigenous population.
At 4:30 pm come to order to the sound of musket fire and join in honouring the memories of Richmond and area veterans who sacrificed themselves in past conflicts to protect Canadian values. Help nurture future citizens and leaders, our youth, in a programme that looks back to our past and forward to the future. Pomp, ceremony and entertainment will prevail in closing an epic weekend of events and activities.
In closing, event chair Cydney Green simply states “Come one, come all and join in Richmond’s celebration … we hope to see you there!”
Check out the schedule for each day below for a complete list of events and times. You may also download a .pdf copy of the daily schedule here to print or follow on your device.