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2012-02-20 at 15:16

Family Day fun

By Leith Dunick,
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Warm weather brought moms, dads and children out in droves on Family Day.

From Fort William Historical Park to the ice pad at Marina Park to splashing around at the Canada Games Complex, there was no shortage of activities for families to have fun at on Monday, when temperatures soared over the freezing mark and made the outdoors that much more enjoyable in Thunder Bay.

Caitlyn Lawrence was one of about 3,000 people who helped Fort William Historical Park set a winter carnival attendance record over the weekend.

“I’m just here with my friends to enjoy some fun,” the nine-year-old said, happy for the extra day off from classes.
“It’s fun to be in school, but I just want to enjoy some time to myself and with my family.”

Michael Fayrick, 10, said he was at the Fort to have a “ton of fun” and take part in all the activities up for grabs at the provincial park.

“You get to hang out, laugh, have fun, joke around, watch a movie, play outside, tube, ski, snowboard, all these fun things you can do with your family on Family Day,” he said.

Chelsy McGowan brought her four young children to the Fort, something of a Family Day tradition, she said.

“It’s something we’ve always done,” she said. “We try to spend as much time with our kids as we can. It’s really nice. Because we’re all students we get to spend this extra time together. So it’s awesome, we love it.”

Daughter Keyrah loved having the day off.

“It’s fun because you don’t have to do work,” she said, hoping to go tubing on the big hill. “It’s lots of fun.”

Caroline Fanti took her kids skating at Marina Park and said she loved the extra day with her children, not having to worry about school or work.

“The extra day makes just a huge difference to being able to take advantage of all that you can do in Thunder Bay,” she said.

“Yesterday we took the kids skiing. Today we’re able to take them skating and you just can’t do that in a normal short weekend.
“We’ve had lots of friends tell us how great the new skating rink is at Marina Park. This is our first time here. The facility is amazing. The kids have already gone in several times for drinks and they don’t have to take their skates off, so that’s great.”

Her son, Evan Fanti, was equally happy enjoying the outdoor fun.

“I’m having fun on Family Day spending time with my family and my friends and having fun skating,” the nine-year-old said.

Family Day was first observed in Ontario in 2008. FWHP’s manager of marketing and visitor experience Doug Stanton says the February holiday really starting to catch on.

“Family Day is building in popularity. More people are planning it as a family outing and I think that’s happening elsewhere, too,” he said.

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We've improved our comment system.
commonsense says:
Certainly it is nice to see people enjoying the rink at PAL. But realize that only part of the adjacent building will be public; they hope to have a restaurant in the portion closer to the lake (with the view of that ugly metal building).
But really, considering $60 Million has been spent, do taxpayers really feel they got their money's worth? Do they realize the city is estimating it will cost $600,000 a year to operate? There's not a lot to do, once the rink is done, that wasn't there before.
Why does City Admin. say the Conservatory is "losing" $600,000 per year, but it's o.k. to "subsidize" the maintenance of this waterfront facility to the tune of $600,000? Is this the tradeoff - give up a beautiful Centennial project so we can look after Marina Park instead? The city tracks #'s at Marina Park to justify the expense, but reports "declining numbers" at Conservatory, just to support their decision to close it, with no firm facts.The glass panels aren't falling inside building!
2/20/2012 11:37:06 PM
Swirly-Q says:
What a strange comment for this news article.

Our family had a great time at the Fort. Thanks to all involved for a wonderful family event.

We also had a chance to go skating at the Marina and explore many of the new attractions. We can't wait to see how it looks in the summer. I'm sure we'll spend many hours at the splash pad, skateboard park and new play strucutre!

2/21/2012 8:32:30 AM
TB4life says:
My family had so much fun at the old fort. The food was great ,shows and music were great and a nice scavanger hunt for the kids and thanks to all the staff at the fort for play along with all my kids questions. The only problem was that it this winter has been too mild so it felt more like the spring carnival
2/21/2012 8:36:16 AM
ibrando says:
A big thunmbs up to all the staff at Fort William Historical Park. Very professional and my entire family had a blast. The skating oval on the Kam River was awsome.
2/21/2012 10:36:48 AM
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