Canacona News

‘Govt appointed gency inspected Galgibaga coast for sand erosion’
Times of India | 1 day ago | |
Times of India
1 day ago | |

Canacona: Weak mobile tower connectivity, power cuts, desilting of Galgibaga river and sand erosion along the Galgibaga coast were the issues discussed at the Poinguinim gram sabha held on Sunday. While a lengthy discussion was on on the constant sand erosion along the Galgibaga coast, sarpanch Savita Tawadkar said that a Pune-based agency, appointed by the government, has conducted an inspection and will send a report soon. “Once we get the suggestions from the agency, the government authority concerned will take charge and the required precautions will be taken to contain the erosion to safeguard the settlements along the coast,” she added.At the gram sabha, the villagers demanded desilting of Galgibaga river to safeguard the paddy cultivation of nearly 100 farmers, which is spoilt after the bundhs are breached.The stray cattle problem was also discussed at the meeting. Assembly speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar, who was present for the gram sabha, said the stray cattle issue is a concern of all Canconkars. “We need to work on this by putting in efforts in procuring land from the comunidade to construct a goshala. This will also help in creating some jobs for the unemployed youth,” he said.On the issue of draft amendments made to the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, the panchayat body said that nothing has come to them in this regard. The villagers were told that they need not worry as if such issues crop up, special meetings will be arranged to hold discussion on pros and cons, before any decision is taken.The gram sabha was attended by around 200 villagers. Sarpanch, panchs, panchayat secretary and the local MLA were also present.

‘Govt appointed gency inspected Galgibaga coast for sand erosion’
Instead of tunnel, Gadkari told us Karmalghat will get 6-lane or 4-lane highway: Tawadkar
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

Canacona: The much talked about proposal for the construction of a tunnel at Karmalghat as an alternative to the expansion of the highway which will involve felling of thousands of trees, may be scrapped or has been put on the back burner.Speaker of Goa assembly and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar said that the proposal has been deferred as the Union minister for road transport Nitin Gadkari said that it is not technically viable. “Instead a six-lane proposal has been put forth and this might get the approval considering the view of the greens,” Tawadkar told TOI.He also said road engineers will study what best can be done with regards to the turns and curves along the highway where accidents frequently take place. Environmental activists had suggested a tunnel to avoid felling of thousands of trees that will be needed to be cut for the expansion of the highway.This demand was put forth by Tawadkar during a video conferencing with Gadkari recently. Voicing the concerns of the environmentalists, he told the senior Union minister that a tunnel is needed to avoid accidents on the ghats and also to prevent the ecology from being destroyed during the proposed road widening.Gadkari replied, ‘I will do one thing, I will make this stretch an accident-free zone. If possible, we’ll make it 6-lane or else 4-lane, by acquiring land. As regards felling of trees, which are around 2,500, let the permission from Goa happen quickly, and at my end, I will immediately commence the works.”“You only see that permission to cut these trees comes from the forest department. I will also tell my people to put the proposal before the forest authority. Once forest clearance comes, we will go all-out for land acquisition process and no sooner both these works are over, I will see that this accident-prone section at Karmalghat is made accident-free,” he told Tawadkar.

Instead of tunnel, Gadkari told us Karmalghat will get 6-lane or 4-lane highway: Tawadkar
Goa: 3 family members killed in collision at Canacona
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

CANACONA: Three members of a family died on the spot, and several others injured, following a collision between two cars on the Manohar Parrikar National highway bypass at Rajbag-Tarir, Canacona, Wednesday evening. Police revealed the names of those dead as Ulhas Ram Nagekar, 64, his wife, Veena, 60, and son Harish, 35, all residents of Upasnagar, Vasco. The Nagekars, altogether eight members of the family, were natives of Majali, Karwar, and were travelling in one car. Several others from both vehicles sustained injuries – two among them are learnt to be critical – and are being treated in a hospital, Canacona PI Chandrakant Gawas said. Eyewitnesses told reporters that the driver of one of the cars lost control of the vehicle after it hit the divider, and consequently collided with the oncoming four-wheeler on the other lane. A driver of one of the cars also sustained injuries. A two-wheeler rider who was in front of one of the cars also sustained injuries owing to the impact of the collision, sources said. Incidentally, this is the 7th accident at this spot in recent times, eyewitnesses said. Locals voiced their concern over the frequent accidents that have taken place along this stretch of the highway of late. They pointed out that this was the seventh among the spate of accidents that have occurred at this spot recently. They have demanded that the authorities concerned devise a mechanism to curb accidents at the spot.

Goa: 3 family members killed in collision at Canacona
  • Goa: Three die in road accident at Canacona
  • Times of India

    MARGAO: Three persons, including a woman, died on the spot following a collision between two cars on Manohar Parrikar National highway bypass at Rajbhag-Tarir, Canacona, Wednesday evening. Several others sustained injuries – two among them are learnt to be critical – and are being treated in a hospital. Eyewitnesses told reporters that the driver of one of the cars involved that was proceeding towards Karwar, lost control after hitting the divider and the four-wheeler collided with an oncoming car on the other lane. A driver of one of the cars also sustained injuries. Incidentally, this is the 7th accident at this spot in recent times, eye witnesses said.

Goa: Faith to the fore as kin flock home in hundreds for Chaturthi
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

By- Pritam Chodankar CANACONA/BICHOLIM: The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi sees many families flock to their ancestral homes for the annual celebration. And for some families this results in, believe it or not, hundreds of relatives converging at a time. The Naik Gaonkar family of Agonda sees at least 100 members coming together at the large family home. Performing the aarti together is a big part of the family’s tradition. This year, the 11th generation continued the practice, with the menfolk taking care of the decor and the women preparing the special festive meals. Mahesh Gaonkar, a retired police officer, said the family is spread across the globe in Australia, the UK, and the US as also across Goa, occupying high positions, but never failing to keep up the tradition of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi at the ancestral home. “As per our family tradition, we also observe ‘navim’ on the second day of Ganesh Chaturthi and bring ‘konnsam’ (sheaves of paddy) and offer it before the idol of Lord Ganesha,” said Sadanand Naik Gaonkar, 75, a retired official from the mamlatdar’s office. The family has a history dating back to 1771. It moved over the years from Nagarcem in the Canacona municipal area to Bokdamoll in Agonda, and later resided at Indrem, also in Agonda. It is understood that the family finally settled at Dessaiwada, where the largest house in Agonda is situated, with its massive courtyard and eight-foot-tall tulsi vrindavan. The Naik Gaonkar family has been based at Dessaiwada for the past 200 years. The Naik Gaonkar house is the only one in the village where all the six tarangas of Shree Mallikarjun are brought and kept for 12 hours during the annual temple festivities. Up north in Bicholim, the Prabhugaonkar family of Piligao sees more than 200 family members gather for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Four rounds of lunches have to be served during the mahaprasad to ensure that all family members have partaken in the blessed meal of the festival. It is during the singing of the aarti that almost all family members participate, giving it the appearance of a synchronised performance. The family members also come together to dance the fugdi and other folk dances during Chaturthi. “We remain scattered throughout the year, but once the Ganesh Chaturthi approaches, the family members are overcome with Chaturthi fervour and come together under any circumstances to observe the festival unitedly,” said a senior member of the family.

Goa: Faith to the fore as kin flock home in hundreds for Chaturthi
  • Faith to the fore as kin flock home in hundreds for Chaturthi
  • Times of India

    Canacona/Bicholim: The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi sees many families flock to their ancestral homes for the annual celebration. And for some families this results in, believe it or not, hundreds of relatives converging at a time.The Naik Gaonkar family of Agonda sees at least 100 members coming together at the large family home. Performing the aarti together is a big part of the family’s tradition. This year, the 11th generation continued the practice, with the menfolk taking care of the decor and the women preparing the special festive meals.Mahesh Gaonkar, a retired police officer, said the family is spread across the globe in Australia, the UK, and the US as also across Goa, occupying high positions, but never failing to keep up the tradition of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi at the ancestral home.“As per our family tradition, we also observe ‘navim’ on the second day of Ganesh Chaturthi and bring ‘konnsam’ (sheaves of paddy) and offer it before the idol of Lord Ganesha,” said Sadanand Naik Gaonkar, 75, a retired official from the mamlatdar’s office.The family has a history dating back to 1771. It moved over the years from Nagarcem in the Canacona municipal area to Bokdamoll in Agonda, and later resided at Indrem, also in Agonda.It is understood that the family finally settled at Dessaiwada, where the largest house in Agonda is situated, with its massive courtyard and eight-foot-tall tulsi vrindavan. The Naik Gaonkar family has been based at Dessaiwada for the past 200 years.The Naik Gaonkar house is the only one in the village where all the six tarangas of Shree Mallikarjun are brought and kept for 12 hours during the annual temple festivities. Up north in Bicholim, the Prabhugaonkar family of Piligao sees more than 200 family members gather for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Four rounds of lunches have to be served during the mahaprasad to ensure that all family members have partaken in the blessed meal of the festival.It is during the singing of the aarti that almost all family members participate, giving it the appearance of a synchronised performance.The family members also come together to dance the fugdi and other folk dances during Chaturthi.“We remain scattered throughout the year, but once the Ganesh Chaturthi approaches, the family members are overcome with Chaturthi fervour and come together under any circumstances to observe the festival unitedly,” said a senior member of the family.

Canacona’s state Chaturthi Bazaar sees poor response
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Canacona: Despite huge sums being spent to set up a state-sponsored Swayampurna Chaturthi Bazaar at Chaudi in Canacona, it is the roadside markets that sprouted up selling matoli items that did brisk business this season.Most of those who sell their wares along the roadside belong to the local indigenous community and are said to have a regular clientele. Ironically, some were sitting out in the open, just about eight metres away from the bazaar itself while others occupied specific pockets along the highway and village roads in Canacona. This, however, impacted sales at the bazaar, which was inaugurated with great fanfare eight days ago by speaker Ramesh Tawadkar. Many of the stalls were empty and those participating in the bazaar said there was a lack of buyers or even visitors. Even on Tuesday, a day before Ganesh Chaturthi, most of the sellers had hardly sold any of their wares.‘Some buyers who were coming with the intention of shopping at the bazaar, ended up making purchases from these roadside vendors, leaving us helpless,’ one participant at the bazaar said. “There was enough space/plots available inside the pandal,” the woman added.Interestingly, the authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to the situation and many say they didn’t even make an effort to encourage the roadside vendors to be a part of the bazaar, despite there being no fee for participation.

Canacona’s state Chaturthi Bazaar sees poor response
In Poinguinim, 3rd generation Chari clan keeps 150-year-old tradition of hand crafting eco-friendly Ganesha idols alive
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

CANACONA: With Ganesh Chaturthi fast approching, members of the well-known Chari clan of Iddar in Poinguinim are busy giving final touches to the Ganesh idols at their workshop in the village. The members are following in the footsteps of their ancestors. Around 80 Ganesh idols of varied sizes are being painstakingly painted at their workshop by the Chari brothers with the help of other family members. This is the third generation of the clan working for the pious cause. Idol maker Anand Chari said that the tallest Ganesha idol made at their workshop this year is 10-ft high, while the smaller ones are in the range of 3.5-ft and above. “Five of us are actively involved in this form of art. Family members Rajendra, Jatin, Pankaj and Sujeet are lending him a helping hand. We do not have a set time for our work. Often we work for more than 12 hours per day,” he said. “Since 1990, we have actively taken the task of making Ganesh idols. The orders are placed by the clients one year in advance. We don’t do this work for money, but keeping the 150-year-old tradition alive,” he said. When asked about the source of the clay, Rajendra said that they bring it from Chaudi, Canacona, from a field situated opposite the Canacona Kadamba bus stand. “Once it is sourced, it has to be moulded. All our family members help us in this endeavour. Then the process of sculpting the idols begins,” he said, adding, “An idol needs at least a month’s time to dry. Then the painting work starts. Normally, August is the peak period as painting takes about 15 days.” “We could get our orders even from across the Polem border, but we limit ourselves to only our regular clients,” he said. When TOI asked Anand why they don’t solicit orders from Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals, he said such idols take up a lot of time and they have a high demand from their local clientele. A member of the family said that as years pass by, it is becoming difficult for them to get clay for the idols. The options in the near future would be to source it either from Mandrem in North Goa or Ankola in Karnataka. According to Anand, the handmade idols prepared at their workshop are eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable. However, he regrets ease of availability of idols made of plaster of paris in the market. “Such idols come from Maharashtra at least three months in advance. They are not eco-friendly and their residue remains in water, either getting washed off to faraway places or it lies in the open. It is not conducive for religious beliefs,” he said.

In Poinguinim, 3rd generation Chari clan keeps 150-year-old tradition of hand crafting eco-friendly Ganesha idols alive
  • ​Most Goan households love clay idols, now some are making their own as Ganesha idol-making workshops catch up in Goa
  • Times of India

    The pandemic has taught people and families to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible, and continuing with this trend, many families have enrolled their younger ones for workshops, held across the state, to learn the art of making clay Ganesha idols. Works of Pure clayMost Goan households bring home clay idols, which are generally eco-friendly and safe. These workshops too encouraged the use of the same medium. “We ensured that the idols were made with pure clay, so that children understand its importance and how it is safe for the environment,” says Apeksha Nadkarni, who held workshops in Vasco and Panaji, with over 50 participants in attendance. The children too seem very enthusiastic to get their hands messy with clay, at these workshops, as Chaitali Morijkar notes, “I’ve always held clay modelling workshops in the past, but when I had the clay Ganesha idol workshop, I noticed a lot of spirit, enthusiasm and dedication among the kids. Many families believe in and worship Lord Ganesha and making his idol with their bare hands was something they found very fascinating. Hence the interest and dedication was apparent.” As part of the Green Ganesha Goa campaign held for kids below 16 years, Kajol Bandodkar held a similar workshop in Mapusa on August 21. “We organised a mud idol making workshop and the response was great, with around 66 participants. We had an expert who trained the young minds and taught them how a Ganesh idol is done, with step-by-step instructions,” says Kajol. Idols of worship, well some of themSeveral families plan their ganesha idols and book them from artisans in advance, but the fact that the children of their households have been working diligently on their art, is not gone into oblivion. Some want to proudly display their child’s handywork too! “Many families are excited about their children participating in workshops, and they plan on keeping the works of art at the worship site. Some plan to keep these clay idols alongside the family idol, as a token of appreciation for the hard work their kids have put in,” says Spana Kabra, who organised a workshop at Parra recently. Immunity building properties of clay make parents happySavita Naik, whose 10-year-old child enjoyed getting his hands dirty, hopes that the activity will help build her son’s immunity. “Post the pandemic, we have been very cautious about what and where our son goes and plays with. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that he has been falling sick often, and this could be because his immunity is very weak. So we thought that getting his hands muddy might do him good.” Likewise, Manish Kerkar wanted his 12-year-old son to explore sculpting as an art form. “There is nothing better than attending classes where they teach the basics of working with clay and modelling it. Also, as it was for Ganesh Chathurti, he was excited to attend such classes.”

Goa: Thumping nod for BJP panels in Canacona village panchayats
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

CANACONA: The seven village panchayats of Canacona taluka saw six sarpanchs and seven deputy sarpanchs elected unopposed. All panchayats showed their affiliation to the BJP government. In Gaondongrim, Yeshwant ‘Dhillon’ Desai, who has a 30-year experience, was elected sarpanch. Saloni Gaonkar the deputy post. In Khola, Ajay Pagui won the sarpanch post and Krupesh Velip that of the deputy. At Shristhal, Sejjal Purushottam Gaonkar is sarpanch and Shivraj V Naik Deshmukh is his deputy. All seven of the Agonda panchayat members made their political debut in this election. Fatima Rodrigues, 71, and Prettal Fernandes, 25, were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch, respectively. At Poinguinim, speaker Ramesh Tawadkar’s wife, Savita, was declared sarpanch. Sunil Shreedhar Paingankar will be her deputy. At Cotigao, Ananda Ganaba Desai and Punamal Chandrakant Gaonkar won the top two posts. Loliem-Polem panchayat elected Pratiza Sachin Bandekar as Sarpanch and Chandrakant Babai Sudhir as deputy sarpanch.

Goa: Thumping nod for BJP panels in Canacona village panchayats
  • Thumping nod for BJP panels in Canacona VPs
  • Times of India

    Canacona: The seven village panchayats of Canacona taluka saw six sarpanchs and seven deputy sarpanchs elected unopposed. All panchayats showed their affiliation to the BJP government.In Gaondongrim, Yeshwant ‘Dhillon’ Desai, who has a 30-year experience, was elected sarpanch. Saloni Gaonkar the deputy post.In Khola, Ajay Pagui won the sarpanch post and Krupesh Velip that of the deputy.At Shristhal, Sejjal Purushottam Gaonkar is sarpanch and Shivraj V Naik Deshmukh is his deputy.All seven of the Agonda panchayat members made their political debut in this election. Fatima Rodrigues, 71, and Prettal Fernandes, 25, were elected sarpanch and deputy sarpanch, respectively.At Poinguinim, speaker Ramesh Tawadkar’s wife, Savita, was declared sarpanch. Sunil Shreedhar Paingankar will be her deputy. At Cotigao, Ananda Ganaba Desai and Punamal Chandrakant Gaonkar won the top two posts. Loliem-Polem panchayat elected Pratiza Sachin Bandekar as Sarpanch and Chandrakant Babai Sudhir as deputy sarpanch.

Speaker’s wife set to be sarpanch of Poinguinim p’yat
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Canacona: Assembly speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar has gotten his wife Savita’s name approved for the post of Poinguinim sarpanch.Sources said that the local MLA called all the panch-elects from the respective panchayats of Agonda, Cotigao, Poinguinim and Shristhal for a discussion on the formation of a new panchayat body on SaturdayAfter "guiding" and taking feedback from the newly elected panchs, the Tawadkar camp is learnt to have announced the names of the candidates as unanimous choices for the posts of sarpanchs and deputy sarpanchs.A media post from the speaker’s Canacona office stated, “The newly elected panch members of Poinguinim panchayat met the speaker to discuss the newly formed panchayat. It was unanimously decided to propose the name of Savita Tawadkar for the post of the sarpanch and Sunil Paiginkar for the post of deputy sarpanch of Poinguinim panchayat”.At Agonda, Fatima Rodrigues’ name has been proposed for the post of sarpanch and Prettal Fernandes for deputy sarpanch.Anandu Desai’s name has been proposed for Cotigao sarpanch and Punam Gaonkar as his deputy.For Shristhal panchayat, Sejjal Gaonkar has been chosen for the post of sarpanch and Shiva Deshmukh as the deputy sarpanch.Pratija Bandekar and Chandrakant Sudhir have been tipped for the post of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch respectively for Loliem-Polem panchayat. Yeshwant (Dhillon) Dessai, who returned to the Gaondongrim panchayat after 25 years, will file for the post of sarpanch.The names for sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Khola village panchayat will be finalised on Monday.

Speaker’s wife set to be sarpanch of Poinguinim p’yat
Since Tauktae, erosion continues to plague Canacona’s coastline
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Canacona: The Canacona coast in South Goa has faced continuous sand erosion this monsoon, threatening shacks and structure. While large chunks of sand along the Agonda shore got washed away during high tide, some damage was also noticed at Khola, Palolem, Patnem-Colomb, Galgibaga, Polem and Talpona beaches, fishermen told TOI. Protective and retaining walls erected by private establishments to safeguard their properties from being washed away have been dangerously exposed. Cyclone Tauktae, which hit Goa in May 2021, has caused heavy sand erosion along Agonda coastline and had destroyed many of the beach structures. Beach flora and sand dunes, which otherwise act as protective barriers, were destroyed. These are still missing at Agonda even as some environmentalists say mindless sand excavation is responsible for sand erosion.While residents blame authorities for not safeguarding the Agonda coastline during Tauktae, some landowners have erected concrete walls for their sea-facing properties.Chief engineer, water resources department (WRD), Pramod Badami, said they are keeping a watch on large-scale sand erosion and the battered coastline. He said the team is studying devastation patterns of at least five years and will act accordingly. He added that experts in Pune will visit Goa after Ganesh Chaturti to survey the coastline before suggesting solutions. Major erosion has been noticed along the coastlines of Galgibaga, Talpona, Rajbagh, Patnem, Palolem, Agonda and Khola. Local fishermen say that these beaches are yet to be stabilised and have been inspected by Canacona officials. They also said that many structures close to the shore and fishing boats had been damaged.While the turtle nesting site at Agonda got submerged, the Galgibaga turtle nesting site came dangerously close to being submerged as well. The sand bar between Galgibaga river and Arabian Sea saw more of its sand getting eroded causing the water to rise by more than half a meter.

Since Tauktae, erosion continues to plague Canacona’s coastline
Canacona locals a divided lot on ragpickers entering villages
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Canacona: The coastal taluka in the south might boast of the world-famous Palolem and Agonda beaches but does not have a system in place to collect non-biodegradable waste. Groups of non-local ragpickers have filled the gap and in the past were seen picking up plastic and dry waste from these beaches. However over the last two years the rag-pickers were not seen as much on beaches and locals welcomed this as they said the groups were a nuisance to tourists.Some villagers are now worried that these groups are being seen again on beaches as well as in villages. Residents from areas like Agonda, Palolem, Talpona think they are blessing since they pick up non-biodegradable waste.A local, Aldrich (name changed), said, “With little or no cleanliness measures in most of our residential areas, it’s a welcome practice for these rag-picking women to pick up rags and pieces including plastics strewn all around in the areas.” Many residents are apprehensive of ragpickers frequenting their areas. They have complained that the ragpickers pick up valuable items kept outside houses or in yards on the pretext of picking up waste. The ragpickers are even chased by locals who said that their valuables have gone missing.One of the women from the ragpickers’ group said, ‘We are not taking away valuables but only pick up things thrown away by people. We pick up plastic bottles and other waste.”While Canacona’s municipal areas have their own garbage collection system, Agonda, Khola, Poinguinim, and Loliem-Polem have area-wise garbage collections. Despite this, many residents continue to dump waste outside their houses or throw it out in isolated open areas.

Canacona locals a divided lot on ragpickers entering villages
Goa: Canacona to mark I-Day with series of patriotic-themed events
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

CANACONA: As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a mega Tiranga Mahotsav will be held at Canacona on Saturday. Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar said that celebrations have been planned at the three main state borders of Patradevi, Castlerock and Polem. “The responsibility for the Polem celebration is with Canconcars”, Tawadkar said. “It is equally important that ‘desh bhakti’ is generated amongst all the citizens of our country and that citizens become responsible,” he said, adding that Canacona too, will participate in the nationwide patriotic celebration with fervour. According to organisers, more than 2,000 college and school students will participate in the various programs, some of which are scheduled to be held simultaneously from Polem to Palolem. There are about eight to 10 freedom fighters from the taluka who are still alive. All may not participate in the celebrations, organisers said, as some are living elsewhere in the country and the movement of some others has been limited due to age. As part of the celebration, over 100 students will visit places at Angadi-Majali in the neighbouring Karwar district of Karnataka where once the Azad Gomantak Dal and Goa National Congress fought for freedom. Principal of the Shree Mallikarjun College and program in-charge, Manoj Kamat, said that Tawadkar will welcome the torch-bearing contingent that will light a torch at Polem following which school students will sing patriotic songs and a march past will be held. There will also be a street play and Run for Tiranga competition. The Tiranga Mahotsav is being jointly celebrated by the directorate of higher education in association with the Shree Mallikarjun College and the deputy collector (Canacona) supported by the directorate of education and Taluka Level Steering Committee (TLSC).

Goa: Canacona to mark I-Day with series of patriotic-themed events