SAULT STE. MARIE -- Warnings from police and public health didn't stop many from attending a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in the Sault on Friday.

Over 100 people attended the "Stand for Freedom" rally at Bellevue Park from 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Masking was "optional," according to a flyer circulating online.

"We're not anti-mask," said Fraiser Keaney, a protester who attended Friday's rally.

"I don't think there are anti-maskers or anti-vaxxers, I think there's just people who wear masks, there's people who vaccinate and there’s people who don't."

A joint statement from Sault Police and Algoma Public Health earlier this week condemned public gatherings.

In the statement, police stated anyone attending an organized gathering could face fines of up to $1000 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

That number is a minimum of $10,000 for organizers.