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Spectators cheer during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa last year.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Bring water, sunscreen and a healthy dose of patience if you plan to party on Parliament Hill over the Canada Day long weekend.

Police in charge of security for the Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa are warning visitors to leave their cars at home, carefully pack their bags and arrive two or three hours early.

There will be official events at Major's Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History between June 30 and July 2, but the tightest security will be on Parliament Hill. To attend the big shows and main events at the foot of the Peace Tower, people will have to go through one of two screening centres where their bags will be searched.

Police are getting ready for an influx of more than 400,000 people on July 1, but there will also be large events during the other two days of celebrations in the National Capital. If venues are packed, police said they will be ready to turn away additional visitors.

The increased level of security was deemed necessary in the face of recent terrorist tactics, with police planning to erect large barriers at key locations in Ottawa and across the river in Gatineau to prevent truck attacks that are on the rise around the world.

"We've monitored all of the internal and external pressures that might be present, and we have flexed our contingency plans in regards to that," said RCMP Superintendent Mike O'Beirne, the officer in charge of operations for the Parliamentary Protective Service.

In addition to the Parliamentary Protective Service, which was created after the October, 2014, attack on Parliament Hill, the police services in Gatineau and Ottawa will be out in full force.

"We're very aware of what is going on around the world," said Inspector Murray Knowles of the Ottawa Police Service. "In Ottawa, since 2014, at every major event on the Hill, you've seen high-visibility policing, you've seen various road closures, you've seen officers with long rifles. So you won't see anything different this Canada Day, it's the same security posture."

Police will be working to ward off any terrorist attack, but also control revellers to ensure that no one brings alcohol or drugs at the event sites. When packing, people need to ensure they also leave aerosols, hard-sided coolers, sporting equipment and fireworks at home.

In terms of pyrotechnics, organizers are promising the biggest July 1 show ever, lasting 20 minutes and 17 seconds in honour of the 2017 sesquicentennial. The fireworks will come from five locations, including the roof of Parliament's Centre Block, to provide a 360-degree experience for spectators on both sides of the Ottawa River.

Guests at the main daytime event will include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor-General David Johnston, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly as well as Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla. The evening entertainment will come from the likes of Alessia Cara, Gordon Lightfoot and an original performance by Cirque du Soleil.

Road closings will start on June 30, and grow to include most of the downtown core in Ottawa on July 1 and 2. With free bus services on the Ontario and Quebec sides, public transit, cycling and walking will be the best means of transportation for the three days.

This year, the Hill perimeter has been extended to include Wellington Street beyond the gated precinct to provide more space for the expected crowds.

"Given the magnitude of the event and the crowd sizes that are expected, we are encouraging the public to arrive earlier than normal than previous years so that they can access the Hill in time for the show that they wish to see," said Supt. O'Beirne.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the RCMP and other security agencies are taking “necessary and appropriate” steps to protect people at Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations this summer.

The Canadian Press

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