New Year’s Eve in Orillia will be a night to remember as the city kicks off its 150th anniversary and the start of many great events planned for 2017.
Orillia became a village in 1867, the very same year Canada became a country and New Year’s Eve and Day will mark the beginning of this milestone celebration. The Orillia community has been preparing a wide variety of experiences for throughout the sesquicentennial year; the first is set to take place on Dec. 31, 2016, at Rotary Place.
“City staff have engaged extensively with partners in the Orillia community to offer special programming throughout 2017 that celebrates Orillia’s sesquicentennial. Join me and others as we honour Orillia’s past, present and future – all starting on Dec. 31st,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.
The Parks, Recreation and Culture Department is enhancing its annual New Year’s Eve Bash at Rotary Place with crafts, arcade games and live entertainment, including a magic show by illusionist Ray Chance. Beginning with a Junior C hockey game at 4 p.m., the event will move outside after 9 p.m. for a spectacular fireworks display set to go off at 9:30 p.m. over Rotary Place.
This free event includes an open skate, a chance to climb the rock wall, and plenty more family-friendly activities. Additional parking will be made available at Lakehead University with a shuttle bus available to transport guests to and from Rotary Place running from 6 to 10:30 p.m.
On New Year’s Day, the Orillia Opera House will unveil a special exhibit spanning its history as part of the Mayor’s Levee. Audiences will then be treated to a multimedia tribute honouring Orillia’s past, present and future in the Lightfoot Auditorium. Joe Roberts of a Push for Change will make a special appearance with cake and refreshments available afterwards. The Levee starts at 1 p.m. on Jan.1, 2017, with the exhibit opening, and runs until 4 p.m.
These two events are just the beginning of a year’s worth of activities planned for the City’s sesquicentennial. Pick up a copy of the City’s 2017 Picture Orillia Calendar at the City Centre, 50 Andrew St. S., for information on what is in store for 2017. You can also stay connected using the hashtag #Orillia150 or by visiting our online calendar at orillia.ca/150; both will have more details and updates as they become available.
The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at orillia.ca.