In-person Canada Day festivities made a return on Friday for the first time since the pandemic started, with residents bringing back old traditions and creating new ones.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Sachin Rodrigo chose to spend his first Canada Day at The Forks.

"All I have to say is like, I love Canada so much, because of, like I said, the diversified culture and all that happening. I really love this country, and you guys should visit here. It's awesome," said Rodrigo.

This year's celebration at The Forks looks a bit different. Instead of the traditional event, The Forks is hosting a "New Day" celebration, aiming for a more inclusive and reflective event.

"You can see already today a lot of our people are healing, and we're changing the course of history right now by The Forks recognizing Indigenous people on July 1," said Wayne Mason Jr., who was watching traditional drumming and dancing.

For many places in Winnipeg, this year marks the first Canada Day with in-person events since the pandemic started -- something the St. Norbert Farmers' Market is glad to have back.

"Great to be here again on Canada Day. We've obviously taken a two-year hiatus from bringing out local vendors and the community, and it's so nice to celebrate Canada Day together as a community,” said Danielle Mondor, the market's executive director.

The return to in-person festivities is being celebrated across the city, including at Assiniboia Downs.

"You can see everybody's smiling faces. Two years in the making, but it's well worth it. It's good to be out now in about," said Kim Wilson, who was spending Canada Day at Assiniboia Downs.

Regardless of where people gathered on July 1, the focus was on the country's accomplishments, history and future.

"It's important to recognize it and all the diversity and the cultures that come along now with it this day and age, and it's just a good time," said Wilson.