U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft hosts 4th of July party catered by the Infinity Convention Centre

Over a raised glass of good ol’ Kentucky bourbon, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft kicked off the embassy’s annual 4th of July Celebration with a toast “to what is genuinely a wonderful friendship” between Canada and the United States, while acknowledging that the relationship is under stress and strain.

Canada and the U.S. have an “enduring partnership that I am confident will stand the test of time, and believe me these are testing times,” the native of Kentucky told roughly 1,800 invited guests Wednesday at the annual bash hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

The gathering was kept smaller this year compared to recent years, when 4,000 or more of the embassy’s closest friends showed up to eat, drink and dance the night away.

Craft spoke on the large verandah of Lornado, her official residence located in Rockcliffe Park. The stately home, which overlooks the Ottawa River, was dressed with bright and festive bunting.

Craft quoted Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers:  “ ‘I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend’.

“By your presence here tonight, I would assert that we all agree with Jefferson on that fundamental point of friendship,” she said to moderate sounds of approval and applause from the crowd, including from her husband, American businessman Joseph Craft III, seen standing behind her in the background.

“And what better friends through the years than Canada and the United States,” said Craft, who wore a matching two-piece, all-white cutwork outfit, with short-sleeved blouse and long pants that revealed just a hint of her casual white sneakers.

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