Everyone would gather on the 24th of May...
Friday, May 24, 2019
Reference is to a line in the song Lakeside Park, by the band Rush, where their drummer/lyricist Neil Peart waxed nostalgic about his younger days in and around a carnival at the titular Lakeside Park in St Catharine's, Ontario, not too far away from Niagara Falls. The 24th of May was originally the date Victoria Day would be celebrated in Canada every year, until the holiday got pegged to the weekend. As such, this is a holiday weekend in Canada, but they're celebrating the 19th Century British Monarch, rather than remembering fallen soldiers, as we are.
A couple of years ago, I made a trip out to Toronto and Niagara Falls, and as a huge Rush fan, knowing that park was there nearby, I had to make a stop and check it out, if only to say I'd been there. Not sure if Lake Ontario was just being rambunctious that day, or if it's permanently in that state, but a fair bit of the beach was under water when I visited, with the lake water reaching up to the parking lot. It was a bit hard to imagine the crowd gathering to watch the fireworks display, and a little sad for that. But the song is still wonderfully evocative of the atmosphere, of the days of youth, of a festive community gathering to celebrate a national holiday.
Rush - Lakeside Park