Winterfest wouldn’t be right without some fresh snow.
Mother Nature delivered on that front, creating a setting seemingly straight from a snow globe for a Family Day celebration at Prince Arthur’s Landing.
It made for a perfect way to spend a holiday Monday, said Angelina Tassone-Vogrig, who was accompanied by husband Mike Vogrig as well as son Roman and daughter Sienna.
“It’s definitely a wintery day,” she said. “We thought we’d come out and see all the exciting events and take advantage of the fact it’s not - 50C.”
Their first stop of the afternoon was to check out the four snow sculptures at the Waterfront Plaza that were vying for the prize of crowd favourite.
Artists created a Canada vs. United States hockey faceoff, celebration of the city’s 100 years of playgrounds, giant baby and a polar bear family that Roman said was his favourite.
Other than the sculpture area, the skating rink was the most popular area in the waterfront.
People of all ages laced up their skates to do some laps or gather around the fireplace.
The outdoor rink has been where Doug Burton likes to take daughter Paityn, 7, to learn to skate.
“It’s nice to come here with the kids and have a good time,” he said. “She’s learning and wants to learn some more.”
The rink is hosting a skating party in the late afternoon into the early evening, followed by a fireworks display.
Other outdoor activities taking place throughout the afternoon included cross-country skiing tutorials, sledge hockey, skijoring demonstrations.
There were also some indoor activities inside the Baggage Building Arts Centre as well as Mariner’s Hall to provide a reprieve from the winter weather.
“It just about covers everything; arts, culture and physical activity,” said city supervisor of community programs Maryann Kleynendorst.
Having two younger children, Tassone-Vogrig said it was nice to be able to have the option to take them out of the elements for a little while.
“It’s nice to have a balance of both,” she said.
In addition to the winter extravaganza, mayor Keith Hobbs proclaimed 2014 as the Year of Play to honour the centennial anniversary of playgrounds programming in Thunder Bay.
He said Prince Arthur’s Landing has become the newest chapter in the city’s history of recreation and culture.
“It’s a great thing for children to grow up and not only build their bodies, build their minds and bring up their intellectual levels as well,” Hobbs said.
“The waterfront development has really brought families together and the city together as a gathering place and that’s what Family Day is all about, as well as recreation and culture.”
He said the winter skating rink and summer splash pad are two favourites of his granddaughter.
More information the city’s 100 years of play celebrations can be found online.
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