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Canadians celebrate the August long weekend


Canadians celebrate the summer season
Canadians celebrate the summer season

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

July 29, 2011 — The August long weekend is upon us, but not all provinces will celebrate this upcoming Monday.

St. John's Regatta held on August 3 this year
St. John's Regatta held on August 3 this year

Most Canadians will be celebrating the summer season this weekend. Every province and territory observes the first Monday of August as a holiday except for the Yukon, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

While these areas will conduct “business as usual” on Monday, the August holiday will still be enjoyed at a later date in some places.

The Yukon celebrates Discovery Day on the third Monday of August, and in Newfoundland, the holiday takes place on the first Wednesday of August. On that day, most Newfoundlanders gather for one of the biggest events of the year.

“The Royal St.John's Regatta has been part of Newfoundland history for 185 years, dating back to 1816,” says Regatta organizer Sandy Hickman. “These are rowing races that take place in St. John's on the first Wednesday of August and this is the only Civic Holiday in North America that can be declared by a committee of persons not associated with the government body.”

Hickman adds that the holiday usually depends on the weather.

“We have had the occasional incident where the temperatures were cold, but more often than not, we'll have a windy day and have to postpone it until the next day.”

Pack your patience on the roads this long weekend
Pack your patience on the roads this long weekend

For the rest of the country, the August long weekend is usually the most popular time for summer travel.

Canadians flock to the beach, cottages and even resorts or hotels. Eager vacationers are urged to pack their patience as many main roads and highways will be jammed.

Police officials in Ontario say the heat can frustrate drivers so it's important to remain alert, focused and safe at all times. Packing a safety kit which includes water, food and sunscreen is also recommended as you never know how much time you'll be spending in the car.

Highways, trails and waterways will be the main focus for authorities this Civic Holiday long weekend.

Here is a look at the holiday celebrated in each province:

For a closer look at the weather in your area, head to the August Long Weekend forecast. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage.

With files from Natalie Thomas

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