Thunder Bay WinterFest celebrates a century of play

Families taking part in Thunder Bay's second annual WinterFest Monday have been treated to some true winter weather.

First playgrounds opened in Fort William in 1914

Families taking part in Thunder Bay's second annual WinterFest on Family Day were treated to some true winter weather.

Light snow fell throughout the day, with temperatures hovering around –7 C in the afternoon.

That meant a Zamboni occasionally had to clear the snow from the skating rink at Prince Arthur's Landing, where hundreds of families spent their Family Day holiday taking part in various winter-themed activities.

In addition to skating, the event featured tobogganing, cross-country skiing and a snow sculpture display.

Thunder Bay mayor Keith Hobbs was on hand to proclaim 2014 the "Year of Play" in honour of the Thunder Bay area's first playgrounds, which opened in 1914 in the former city of Fort William.

Hobbs said recreation has always been important to the area.

"There's an old, old saying, and it's, 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' ... And it's true, you know," said Hobbs.

"People work hard, and they need to relax, and have fun and play as well. So 100 years is a great milestone."

The event was to wrap up with a fireworks display Monday night.



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