As people skated, rode ice bikes and engaged in spirited games of curling, the scene had to put smiles on faces of regional marketers who have been working to make Canalside a year-round destination.
It was a “soft” opening Friday for the Ice at Canalside on Buffalo’s Inner Harbor. A grand opening will be held Dec. 1 that will feature carolers, a tree-lighting and a jolly visit from you-know-who.
But the weather was chilly enough to accommodate a Thanksgiving weekend opening. Rachel Bradley of Buffalo was watching the flurry of activity. Like many other local residents, Bradley recalled a time not too long ago when there wasn’t much happening along the Inner Harbor.
“This is so much better. It’s so nice to walk around,” she said. “I work across the street, so in the summer and winter, it’s nice to come and walk around and just sit and enjoy the sun.”
Amy Shaul of Glenwood was also near the rink on opening day.
“It’s exciting to be skating out here and watching the new Explore & More Children’s [Museum] go up,” she said.
The museum is scheduled to open in late 2018.
Canalside General Manager Matt LaSota told WBFO that crews are completing construction on a new entrance near Main Street and the Metro Rail Station.
“You will see a big new welcome structure warming tent with new food and beverage options,” LaSota said. “As we continue to grow, starting with the Explore & More Museum, there will be more things to do. More buildings, more places to eat, more activities.”