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Otterville has three days of events to celebrate Canada 150 on July 1 weekend

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

The pamphlets have been printed and are being distributed all across Norwich Township as invitations to attend this year's 150th anniversary celebration of Canada Day.

Each year the celebration rotates to a different part of the township and Otterville is making the most of its turn with a full weekend of events.

Activities begin Friday, June 30 with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. at the Old Mill. That's followed by the Team Tricycle Race at 5:30 p.m. and the Chicken Wing Ding and Dance which is already sold out.

Saturday, July 1 activities begin bright and early with the Farmer's Market at the Old Mill at 8 a.m. A bicycle parade and OPP bicycle safety event begins at 9 a.m. at the entrance to the Otterville Park. Main Street is the place to be starting at 10 a.m. for the OPP Golden Helmet Precision Motorcycle Team Demonstration, followed at 11 a.m. by the Canada Day parade featuring the Shriners Oriental Band.

Activities move into the park starting at 1 p.m. with preschool activities, sing songs and children's activities. Canoe races start at 2 p.m. at the park entrance and the pine car races are in the park at 2:30 p.m. The chicken barbecue, for which tickets are required, starts at 4:30 p.m. in the park. Turn to the baseball diamonds starting at 6:30 p.m. for the atom boys' baseball game, then the men's baseball game at 8:30 p.m. When dusk sets in, make sure to have a lawn chair for the fireworks display.

Also Saturday during the day, watch for Otterville history scavenger hunt signs, the historical picture display in the park pavilion, the car show at the Anglican Church and food vendors on Dover Street between Main and Mill streets. There are also free swims in the Otterville pool all weekend.

Activities for Sunday morning, July 2 are all located in the park. The first is a 10 a.m. church service and attendants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., A String and a Prayer Gospel Band and the Fred Hodgson Band will perform. A summer picnic begins at 11:30 a.m. Over at the Old Mill, the rubber ducky race begins at 2 p.m. Further down the road at Woodlawn at 3 p.m. is the book launch for Experiencing the Great War – The Township of Norwich 1913-1919.

Also part of the Canada 150 celebrations is a poetry contest. Deadline for entries is June 23. The winning entry will be read aloud at the opening ceremony and the writer will receive a $150 cash prize.

All entries must have the author's full name, mailing address, phone number, grade (if in school) and may be used by the Canada Day Committee, Friends of the Otterville Park or Oxford County Library. Canadian theme is encouraged. Maximum two entries per person. Submit entries by 4 p.m. June 23 to the library via email with subject line Poetry Contest to ottervillelibrary@ocl.net, or drop off in person or mail to Otterville Public Library Poetry Contest, 207 Main St., W, PO Box 212, Otterville, ON N0J1R0

June 23 is also the deadline for the Township of Norwich Canada Day 150 Committee Canadian Heritage and Township of Norwich History Contest for elementary school students in the township. Two entrants will win an Ipad mini. Completed questionnaire is to be submitted to slheemskerk@silomail.com or mail to Loralee Heemskerk, 4118 Windham West Quarter Line Road, Norwich, ON N0J1P0. The questionnaire is available on the Township of Norwich Canada Day 150 Committee page on Facebook.

June 20 is the deadline to register for the Canada Day committee's decorating contest for properties throughout the township. Entry forms can be found on the township's website www.norwich.ca and on the Township of Norwich Canada Day 150 Committee page on Facebook.