Parade of Paddles – A Canada 150 – Canada Day National Waterway Celebration.

June 23,2017 - Sail boat heading into The Soo Lock (Canada)

Superior Media met with  Ermantinger Clergue National Historic Site’s Curator Kathy Fisher at Parks Canada Sault Canal recently to learn more about an exciting event taking place on Canada Day, July 1st, 2017.

While at the Lock, spectators can enjoy entertainment, including The Healing Lodge Singers, Ribbon Dancing by the Metis Association, Airbrush tattoos by Parks Canada and more.  There will also be opportunities to learn about the History of Trapping and Furs, Invasive Species and the St. Marys River.

The St. Mary’s River flows 125 km from Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay through Sault Ste. Marie, dividing into two channels around St. Joseph Island before emptying into Lake Huron.

The St. Mary’s River has three distinct hydrological reaches: the 22.5 kilometer upper reach, from the narrow outflow of Lake Superior to Sault Ste. Marie, which is characterized by strong winds, clear cold water, and a generally shallow, sandy coastline with offshore sand and gravel shoals; the 2.5 km rapids reach at Sault Ste. Marie where 6.1 metres of the river’s 6.7 metre drop occurs through a long, shallow fall over boulders and sandstone outcrops, past Whitefish Island, the Sault Canals and power dams; and the 100 km lower reach to Bruce Mines and Detour, along which broad shallow lakes and rock-fringed channels alternate.

Flowing through 2.5 billion year-old Precambrian rock sculpted by glaciers, the river stands at the geological crossroads of the continent, as well as at the hydrological and ecological junction of the Upper Great Lakes. Its valley provides dynamic evidence of the major processes that shaped the northern half of the North American continent.

The St. Mary’s River packs a lot of history into its short reach. As early as 2,500 BCE the Ojibwe people had established settlements on islands and along the shore of the river to harvest the abundant whitefish. The Métis people of Canada originated in the valley, and the Batchewana and Garden River First Nations still live along the river’s shores.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority is responsible for the management of this Canadian Heritage River. The locks and canal are a national historic site and are managed by Parks Canada.’

The Parade of Paddles will paddle to the Bushplane Heritage Centre and portage across Bay Street to History Fest at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site.

Soo Locks – Canada – June 23,2017

Shuttles will be available to bring paddlers back to the Canal site. Celebrations take place at the Canal from 10:00 am til noon, July 1st.

The Voyageur Canoe Brigade, which will lead the Parade of Paddles on Canada Day, is launching from Batchewana Bay, on June 29th, and, over four days, will traverse the waters to Thessalon, Ontario.

Canada Day  celebrations  continue with History Fest at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site.

There will be a ‘Lunch on the Lawn’, (registration required for lunch), tours of the site provided by historical interpreters, period performers, heritage crafts, pioneer games and entertainment.

To register for Parade of Paddles, or to learn more go to The Sault Ste. Marie Regional Conservation Authority website HERE

The Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site is here:

Saultonline Parade of Paddles is HERE