Wellington is a small town with a big heart, and on days like July 1st those hearts are worn on their sleeves. I love how the whole town gets involved in the festivities! The best example is reverend Steve Spicer and The Wellington United Church. His congregation comes together as a team and puts on the best Strawberry Social around.
What's a Strawberry Social, you ask? Well, let me break it down: It starts with three different sign up sheets at the church. First is for a team of volunteers to go out to the fields the day before July 1 and pick as many strawberries as they possibly can. My wife Jessica and son Harrison were a part of that team. The second sign up sheet is for a team of volunteer bakers to get together and bake enough cake for 250 servings (pretty impressive if you ask me). Then on July 1st, a third volunteer team expertly puts a beautiful strawberry shortcake together for people to enjoy. The cost with coffee is $5. You wonder about the man hours and labour put into this for a $5 plate, and you think... how did this make sense? Well, in the County it makes total sense. Community makes sense here.
The party doesn't stop at the cake and coffee though! The night before July 1st there is a big old honkin' street dance + fireworks display. Now, when I say street dance, I really mean it. The ENTIRE town comes our for this. People young and old find a spot in the park and listen to Eddie + The Stingrays play rock'n'roll from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Not to float my own boat, but I'm good at estimating numbers and I'd say the street dance had roughly 500-600 people there. That's about 40% of the town's population -- dancing!
The Fireworks on Wellington beach were the highlight of the night. Everyone heads down to the beach at 9:45PM for a very impressive fireworks display. It was my son Jude's first time seeing fireworks, and I've never seen him so excited. He was squealing with joy and kept yelling "WOW!!!!">b After the fireworks finished, a few people started to sing "Oh Canada". Before you knew it, the whole beach was singing in unison. I'd say by the last line of the song, all 800 or so that had gathered on the beach were singing.
I've never seen anything like it.
BTW, the Devonshire patio will have the best views of the fireworks. Don't worry, Jess and I will make sure we all sing afterwards! If I were you, I'd put in a reservation request now. It doesn't get better than this.