Less than a week after the dragon arrived in Ottawa, we took him out for his first public appearance. Lansdowne Park, the city’s newest 18-acre urban park, was inaugurated on Saturday, August 16, and the City invited us to be part of the celebration.
The weather here in Canada’s capital tries to thwart our plans every time we hold an event, and this day was no different. But rain and drizzle didn’t dampen our Tai Chi spirits. Participants donned clear plastic rain ponchos, so our vibrant red Awareness Day t-shirts could still be seen, and did a number of sets outside.
The dragon was scheduled to dance at 2 pm. We started off inside the Horticulture Building, warming up with a few spirals. The second the skies brightened, we took him out to parade around the entire circumference of the park, past the farmer’s market and ferris wheel. We practiced the wave and caught the attention of park visitors and exhibitors alike.
As raindrops started to fall again, we slipped back inside the Horticulture Building. Our fantastic drummers called people inside as we zigzagged and spiralled some more.
With only one short practice under our belts—even a few brave Tai Chiers participating for the very first time!—and few replacements, the dragon’s legs did an amazing job for the full half hour we were allotted to perform. Our tired but satisfied dragon was happy to take a final bow so the appreciative crowd could have their picture taken with him.