Battle of Ridgeway 150th anniversary
Ridgeway will be given over to Canadian Armed Forces personnel as the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway will be marked with a parade, memorial ceremonies and a day-long festival.
Events start at noon when 200 soldiers from The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and the Royal Hamilton Light Infrantry (Wentworh Regiment) will parade from the Crystal Ridge Arena Village Square where they will receive “Freedom of the City” from Mayor Wayne Redekop.
Freedom of the City is a ceremonial honour dating to Roman times to allow military units to assemble and march bearing their arms through a city.
From Village Square, where co-incidentally Canadian soldiers debarked from the train that brought them to battle, they will march up Ridge Road.
Soldiers in period uniforms will fire a volley at Dominion Road, Nigh Road and Garrison Road.
Ridge Road will be closed to vehicles from Rebstock Road to Garrison from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vehicles will not be allowed to cross at Dominion or Nigh Roads.
Garrison Road will be closed to vehicles from Gorham Road to Ridgemount Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through traffic will be detoured to Bowen Road via Gorham and Ridgemount, although Teal Road and Bertie Road to Gorham will remain open.
Once the parade arrives at the Battlefield on Garrison Road, a paratrooper of The Queen’s Own Rifles will jump from 10,000 feet with a Canadian flag measuring 1,000 square feet at 1 p.m.
Lieutenant Colonel Sandi Banerjee will present a Canadian flag to the mayor and dignitaries will make speeches.
A bronze plaque memorializing the names of the soldiers who lost their lives as a result of being deployed to Ridgeway will be unveiled. Wreaths will be laid at the cairn and a bugler will sound Last Post. Rifle volleys will be made and a moment of silence will be observed. A prayer for veterans will be made.
A period cornet band will perform the Royal Anthem, the National Anthem, The QOR Regimental March and the RHLI Regimental March.
After soldiers are dismissed, The Ridgeway Nine Memorial will be unveiled for the nine soldiers of the QOR who were killed in combat in the Battle of Ridgeway. A plaque marking an ironwood tree on the battlefield will also be unveiled.
The book written by museum staff, First-Hand Accounts of the 1866 Fenian Raid and the Battle of Ridgeway, will be launched. and recognition will be made of descendants of soldiers who served in the 1866 Fenian Raid campaign.
Events will continue at the Crystal Ridge Arena with a festival featuring demonstrations of 19th century battle tactices, displays of modern military equipment and vehicles, art activities for children and exhinits of historic artifacts from the period, as well as a barbecue hosted by the Ridgeway Lions and other activites.
Parking and shuttle buses will be off Rebstock Road.
All events are free admission.