Despite the cold temperatures, hundreds of Waterloo locals headed outdoors on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the winter activities presented by the first ever Winter Sports Expo, which began on Jan. 9.
Events will be held throughout the month at Waterloo Public Square and incorporate the newly constructed ice rink.
The Waterloo Siskins of the Ontario Hockey Association were on hand to kick off the expo at this weekend’s opening.
The public was encouraged to skate alongside the Siskin players and watch as they demonstrated their speed, agility and skill.
The new ice rink and winter expo are aimed not only at children but the entire Waterloo community, encouraging everyone to enjoy outdoor programs during the winter.
Wilfrid Laurier University alumnus Scott James felt that “incorporating a minor hockey team into the expo was a sure way to get kids excited and involve the rest of the community.”
Pointing out that it is also an appropriate venue for the student demographic, James laughed and said that “the new rink is a great place to take a date.”
Tracy Suerich, public square and open spaces program co-ordinator, ensures that there are entertaining festivals and daily activities at the square throughout the month.
In addition to the scheduled programs, the new ice rink, which opened on Dec. 20, kept the area busy throughout the holiday season.
“It’s been an unbelievable response from the community…. We saw 600 to 800 people a day in the first week of opening,” said Suerich.
Although the holiday is over, turnout at the public square remains strong, averaging between 200 to 300 patrons a day.
The expo, which will continue every Saturday for the rest of January, has a full bill of winter sports programs, with the main attraction next weekend.
Jan. 16 – Skiing and snowboarding program, including ski fittings and extreme sports demonstrations
Jan. 23 – Figure skating, with a show and lessons by Kitchener-
Waterloo Skating Club
Jan. 30 – The expo will wrap up with curling sponsored by the KW