Funding secured, Sault’s NYE celebration ready to roll

new years

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is moving forward with a planned NYE celebration but when they lower the boom to ring in the New Year, will it be a well-lit puck or a ball?

That is the question. But a key issue was resolved last night with news GFL Environmental will cover the full tab for the Dec. 31 event. The cost is about $16,000.

As expected, staff’s report was approved by council last night. The City had planned to seek funds from the NOHFC (Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation) and seek other means of funding if there was a shortfall. The funding concern is now out of the way and planning of the event’s details can begin in earnest.

Community Services Director Brent Lamming says the City will conduct a public poll to help decide whether it’s a ball or a puck that drops.

“I think both concepts are good,” said Brent Lamming. “The ball, the intent is to build it around the City logo. The puck is traditional and would represent all the different areas of hockey we have in Sault Ste. Marie with both boys and girls and just create excitement with such a hockey bed, with the Greyhounds, the Lakers across the river, the Soo Thunderbirds and the Sault College Men’s and Women’s teams.”

As per staff’s report, Public Works will construct a ball or puck six to eight feet in diameter. It will be adorned with LED lighting and suspended about 80 feet above the plaza via a boom truck or crane. 

Cost is just over $6,000. Lamming said the cost would triple if the City hired an outside party to do the build. 

There will be two ball/puck drops, including one at 8 p.m. for the benefit of young families.

“If people want to stay later and enjoy the festivities they can stay for the later drop as well,” said Lamming.

The lower room of the plaza is licensed to serve alcohol. The aCity will apply for a separate license to serve alcohol outside the approved area.

Lamming says the skating pad will be open and there will be music and entertainment with vendors selling snacks and refreshments. He imagines the plaza’s viewing screen will likely be used for a countdown to 2025.

“Now that we have the direction to move forward, we’ll start planning those things.”

Ward 3 Councillor Angela Caputo told council she is receiving “a ton of positive feedback” on the NYE event. Caputo introduced the NYE celebration concept to council Jan. 8.

“People are really looking forward to having something to do on New Year’s Eve but also there has been such a positive spin come from the plaza,” said Caputo. “I’ve just had so many constituents contact me and tell me how much they’re enjoying it.”

Ward 5 Coun. Corey Gardi praised the idea and called GFL’s support “the ball on top of the cake.” 

Ward 1 Coun. Sandra Hollingsworth commended Caputo for a “great idea” and reiterated her support for a contest involving city schools to help promote the event.

One thought on “Funding secured, Sault’s NYE celebration ready to roll

  1. The broke shrinking city with nothing going for it has zero to celebrate. There is no need to squander any further funds on such frivolous things when the city is in a deep crisis with violent crime, drugs, homelessness, partner violence, starvation, far above average b&e’s and store thefts are out of control, they just let them walk, right out the front door if they choose not to pay, not to mention that 70% of the long neglected roads are SHOT.
    It seems like squandering tens of millions on the long dead downtown supersedes everything else, regardless of how critical it might be.
    It’s time to get a clue and rid the town of the useless part time child mayor who supports all of the wrong decisions and buries it further in debt every day.
    For that matter anyone that supports the corrupt drama teacher Trudeau and the delusional Liberals needs to resign in shame.

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