Wednesday was Canada's 153rd birthday.
Many people took the time to celebrate in their own way, whether it was virtual or that close group of friends in their bubble.
Under a sunny, blue sky a small crowd lined up along Harbour Drive in Belleville to cheer on a group of close to two dozen Community Heroes -- people and businesses -- who were being honoured for the essential work they have been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The work that is done is not easy and takes up a lot of time and effort to keep life going in an unprecedented time.
Horns were honking and the music was playing as the group of twenty Canada Day-decorated vehicles drove past, that included those from the Belleville Police Service.
The event was put on by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Jill Raycroft felt this was better than nothing regarding any Canada Day celebration, with all of the restrictions and distancing in place right now.
"It's a small way to give a tribute to our frontline workers and also our community heroes -- and bring the community together", said Raycroft. "It was great along the route. We saw tons of people standing outside, in front of their houses and we know the retirement homes -- they were ready to go. They were waving and cheering on. It was kind of nice."
Raycroft said the group varied from grocery stores to product manufacturers.
"We have Ed Lehtinen from Impacto and spoke to Wayne Dewey and Marcus (Daley) from Parmalat. They're all talking about how they had to transition and pivot through this time. We use that word a lot, but it's true."
The event concluded at Jane Forrester Park with the awarding of certificates from MP Neil Ellis, MPP Todd Smith and Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk in front of the Belleville sign.
While some of the recipients were on hand to receive their certificate on Wednesday, the rest of the group will get their individual certificates at their place of business.
When Raycroft was asked if this parade would become an annual event, she responded 'absolutely'.
"I think we'll do this again. This will be the first run and we'll leave that link open to Community Heroes so if anybody thinks of somebody that should have been part of this list, by all means, they should get a hold of the Chamber."
Raycroft remained optimistic when it came to combining the Community Heroes Parade with any Canada Day activities that were happening at Zwick's Park before COVID-19.
"We may continue something like this for every Canada Day."
Here is the full list of Community Heroes who will or have received a certificate:
-- Impacto Protective Products Inc. for their development and production of masks
-- Trent Valley Distributors (Sam Jannat, Michelle Capstick and Mike Harris) for the making of sanitization products and support for non-profit organizations
-- Dentistry by the Bay for (Sheena Woodward, Morgan Chmatil, Patricia Brooks, Robyn Dwyer, Victoria Poole) continuing to offer emergency dental services and operating their phone triage 18 hours a day
-- Truss Beverages (Pat Walsh, Jordan Thompson) for donating 20k to Gleaners Food Bank, and another 10k to BICOP
-- Jeremy & Suzanne Braithwaite for producing more than 10,000 face shields for Quinte Health Care
-- Enrichment Centre for Mental Health Pandemic Team (Stephen Forbes, Samantha Drake, JP Quintonilla) for housing and feeding vulnerable individuals in the community
-- Steve Van de Hoef - Bridge St. United Church (Lisa Morris, Joe Culp) for coordinating a free lunch program during COVID
-- Parmalat (Marcus Daley) and their night shift at their distribution centre
-- Kara Hertendy for sewing countless masks for frontline staff
-- Connie Carson for founding a COVID19 sewing group and so much more!
-- Pegasus Cheer Athletics for offering virtual training and wellness calls to families
-- Willowlee Sod Farms for their food sustainability initiative at Loyalist College
-- Belleville Transit Drivers and dispatch for keeping transit available
-- GH Manufacturing Incorporated and their essential workers
-- International Truckload Services and their essential workers
-- We Thrive Wellness Centre for transitioning to support their clients virtually
-- Loyalist Martial Arts Academy for transitioning to support their clients virtually
-- Best Western - Williams Hotels for housing Loyalist students during a residence lockdown
-- Belleville Police Service for the United Way Grocery delivery
-- Dewe's Independent Grocer and their essential workers
- Bus Cancellations ~ Top Stories ~ Delivered to You On Time & Online
- SIGN UP FREE