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Sault Downtown Plaza sees big winter turnout

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The City of Sault Ste. Marie is expecting a busy summer at the Downtown Plaza. City officials say the plaza is coming off a successful first winter season, which saw large crowds gathering at the outdoor rink.

Virginia McLeod, the city’s manager of recreation and culture, said the rink saw more than 16,000 skaters this winter, which amounts to nearly half the number the city sees at all of its outdoor rinks combined.

“Obviously, this winter was an anomaly, so the number of days that we were actually open at our other outdoor locations was quite minimal,” McLeod said.

“But it is a very significant number and we’re very pleased with the attendance this year.”

Now that ice skating is finished for the season, the city is turning its attention to other recreational possibilities for the skating pad.

“We have had the roller skating group reaching out to us, so we’re going to be meeting with them to see what opportunities exist for roller skating,” said McLeod.

“We do have to be mindful -- there is some drain areas within the rink, so that’s something we’ll have to discuss with them to make sure those areas are protected and it’s not going to cause a trip hazard.”

McLeod said the Soo Market has played a significant role in the plaza’s success, and the city is looking to build on that.

“I know the market days are extremely busy, the feedback has been very positive throughout the year,” she said.

“So, we’re looking forward to a summer season, expanding the number of vendors that’ll be available during those market days.”

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