July 7th, 2017 by

Celebration in the air at Waterfront opening ceremonies

Several participants of the Parade of Nations carry flags down to the Mainstage at Zwick’s Park in Belleville to start the 2017 Waterfront and Ethnic Festival Friday evening. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

Local woman Megan Brant carries the Russian flag during the Parade of Nations at the Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival opening ceremonies. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

A sense of festiveness was in the air Friday night at the official opening ceremonies for the 2017 Belleville Waterfront & Ethnic festival.

The annual event held at Zwick’s Park in Belleville celebrated a trio of anniversaries this year, including the 150-year milestones for both Canada and the province of Ontario, as well as the city of Belleville’s 200th birthday.

The Chinese Lion Dancers and Drummers led the Parade of Nations down to the Mainstage at Zwick’s to kickstart the ceremonies. They also performed a dance for the crowd to finish the ceremonies.

The Chinese Lion pays a visit to former Belleville Mayor and current Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and current Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher at the Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival opening ceremonies Friday night. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

The group of speakers that took the stage included Belleville Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Raycroft, Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher, Hastings Prince Edward MPP Todd Smith, outgoing Base Commander at CFB Trenton Col. Colin Keiver, Quinte Ethnic Council Chairwoman Brigitte Kasprzak, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and Intertribal Shaman Tracey Kennedy.

Mexico is represented at the Parade of Nations leading to the opening ceremonies of the Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival Friday evening. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

MP Ellis says the inclusive community feeling of the festival is something that many other cities in Canada are taking notice of.

Neil Ellis Copy

Col. Keiver thanked everyone involved in making the event happen and echoed MP Ellis’ statements on how the festival can bring everyone together, in particular for military personnel.

Colin Kiever Copy

Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher addresses the crowd at the 2017 Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic festival opening ceremonies. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

Mayor Christopher had some stirring words for the crowd before officially declaring the festival open.

Taso Christopher Copy

A Russian dance number was also performed during the ceremony by local woman Megan Brant.

There’s lots to do this weekend at the festival. You can try out many different international foods at the Ethnic Village, visit the new Quinte Craft Beer Garden, take in the many live music and entertainment options or¬†check out the¬†midway. For the kids, there’s RJ the Balloon Dude and the Canada 150 Monster Colouring Mural, among other things to do. If you head down Sunday, you can also watch the pups strut their stuff at the Canine Watersports show and the Ultimutts Stunt Dog show.

The festival will wrap up at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Full schedule can be found here

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