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Americans get free walking tours of Kingston on July 4th

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KINGSTON, Ontario — This city, home to Canada’s first and founding prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-91), is rolling out the red carpet for its American neighbors on Thursday for Independence Day.

“I am pleased to announce that the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission will be providing our famed Sir John A. Macdonald walking tour of historic downtown Kingston free of charge for our American allies and friends on July 4,” said Arthur Milnes, commissioner of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to highlight Macdonald of Kingston’s 200th birthday in 2015. “One of the best parts of being Canadian is the fact we live next door to the United States and this is our small way of saying ‘thank you America’ on Independence Day 2013.”

The walking tours, which last approximately 60 minutes, are led by costumed guides and professional actors who bring Canadian history to life along the way. In 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson served as guest leader of one of the walks. Other distinguished tour leaders have included a justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, the first Canadian in space, Marc Garneau, Canada’s former ambassador to the United States, Derek Burney, and two former prime ministers of Canada.

The tours will start at 2 and 4 p.m. Thursday and leave from Kingston’s Visitor Information Center at 209 Ontario St., across from Kingston City Hall. Americans need only identify themselves to their guides as residents of the U.S. and the normal $10 ticket price will be waived. There is room for 50 people on each of the July 4 walks.

Americans also will receive free Sir John A. walking tours of Kingston on Aug. 18, the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s historic visit to Kingston in 1938.

For more information, contact Mr. Milnes at arthur.milnes@sympatico.ca or call him at (613) 328-5592.

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