Brittney Pepper is happy to share her birthday with her motherland.
The Vernon woman turned 22 on July 1, Canada’s 146th birthday.
“It’s awesome, I love it. Everyone celebrates my birthday every year,” smiled Pepper, who was draped in the Canadian flag, as were friends Marlee Tetrault and Kyle Stacey as the trio wandered around Polson Park Monday afternoon, taking in the annual Canada Day celebration.
“I come down to Polson Park every year,” added Pepper. “I was born and raised in Vernon and never want to leave. I’m a very proud Canadian.”
Canadian pride was on full display in Vernon and at Armstrong’s Memorial Park, as hundreds took in the annual celebrations.
Brenda and Tom Kirton from Vernon set up their lawn chairs in front of the Polson Park bandshell to hear the various musical acts, wearing their bright red Canada T-shirts and hats.
“We come down here every year decked out in Canadian colours,” said Brenda, who had extra reason to celebrate July 1. She’s originally from Newfoundland, which commemorates Memorial Day on July 1 to pay homage to the efforts of the province’s veterans, particularly those who participated in the First World War.
Tom’s father is a Second World War vet.
“I love the freedom in Canada,” said Tom, a former Canadian amateur cowboy who competed in saddlebronc and calf roping.
In Armstrong, one of the highlights of the Canada Day celebrations was the presentation of the Citizen of the Year recipient.
This year, there are two worthy women: Rea Smith and 99-year-old Ruth Bosomworth who each received long ovations from the large crowd.
A flash mob organized by SPARC (Armstrong Spallumcheen Arts Council Society) had the crowd clapping their hands as they broke into the Beatles’ hit With a Little Help From My Friends during the Canada Day ceremonies.