Family Day celebrations in South Frontenac started in 2011 at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, but moved to the Frontenac Arena the following year.
The brainchild of Norm Roberts and Dan Bell, who were the chairs of the Storrington and Portland recreation committees respectively, the move came down to one factor — ice, or the lack of it.
“We tried to make ice for skating,” said Roberts Monday. “We could do it and so we moved up here where there is skating.”
“Even if you don’t skate, it’s still fun to come out,” said Tracy Holland, volunteer coordinator for Family Day for the last five years. “We have such a large geographical area that it’s great to have something all the districts can do together.
“It’s a great way to spend time with your family in the middle of winter.”
The arena was full of skaters, though. And for those who didn’t bring their skates, there were horse-drawn wagon rides, courtesy of White’s Wagon Rides, hamburgers, hot dogs and granola bars, plus a slew of games and activities including marshmallows for toasting.
“We’ve had a good turnout the past couple of years,” Holland said. “We couldn’t do it without the support of Council, though — even our mayor is out there on the barbecue.
“And, we have five high school students helping out with the games, three of whom are returning from helping out last year.”
And Holland had praise for the arena staff.
“The arena staff are here working on a holiday,” she said. “They had the barbecue ready and the coffee on when we got here.”
It was a chilly day, even though the temperature did officially get to -5C, but the sun was out to brighten spirits.