Saturday is Canada’s 150th birthday and Fort Langley National Historic Site historical interpreters Melissa VanGenderen (left) and Haley Kloosterhof are welcoming visitors to the fort’s celebration that runs into the late evening with the outdoor showing of Beauty and the Beast. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Ten reasons to visit Fort Langley National Historic Site on Canada Day

Activities aplenty at the fort on July 1, including a citizenship ceremony and singing of O Canada

The place where B.C. officially came into being is celebrating Canada’s 150th with a giant birthday bash Saturday.

The long-awaited July 1 celebration of the 150th anniversary of confederation is just around the corner and the Fort Langley National Historic Site (FLNHS) offers 10 reasons why people should celebrate the occasion at the site.

Among them:

10.) Witness a morning citizenship ceremony inside the fort, beginning at 10 a.m.

9.) Get inked: Free airbrush tattoos and henna.

8.) Live music and multicultural entertainment.

7.) Meet Parka, Parks Canada’s mascot.

6.) Stop for a treat or the Trading Post’s special est. 1867 Pale Ale at lelem’ at the fort café.

5.) Enjoy a giant Canada Day cake, to be served up at noon.

4.) Be part of an evening picnic and concert on the fort grounds starting at 6 p.m. — bring your own blanket, chair and food. The site will host a free concert featuring M’Girl. This group is an ensemble of Indigenous women with stories and songs about their connection to nature.

3.) Keep your wallets in your pockets. Admission to the fort is free.

2.) Watch the 2017 Beauty and the Beast in an outdoor setting of the fort. The movie gets underway once the sun sets at 9:30 p.m.

1.) Mark this special year at the spot where British Columbia was established, and trace the stories of this land that go back thousands of years.

The first 150 people to come to the fort’s promotions tent at 8 p.m. will receive a #Canada150 zipper pull.

Throughout 2017, Parks Canada is inviting Canadians and visitors from around the world to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary from coast to coast to coast. Admission is free at all Parks Canada locations this year, including the FLNHS.

This has, in turn, resulted in a huge increase in the number of visitors to the fort.

So far, from January to May 2017, the site had 63,869 visitors. In 2016 from January to May, there were 35,806 visitors, an increase of 78 per cent so far in 2017. And, from January to December, 2016, 91,534 people visited the fort.

The number of visitors in 2017 is expected to surpass 150,000 at the rate it’s been going so far.

For full schedule of events, visit www.langleytimes.com.