Free March Break skate draws a crowd

by Kyle Reid

Students in the Town of Essex were certainly not bored over the March Break holiday as they took a well-deserved break from school. In fact, quite a few of those students, and their families, took advantage of a free public skate held at the Essex Centre Sports Complex last Friday.

Beginners and seasoned skaters alike enjoyed the free family fun. Some youth used the free skate as a romantic date idea, while parents also took to the rink with their much younger skaters to give them their first experience on a pair of blades.

Other youth took the opportunity to just have a fun-filled afternoon out with their friends.

With warmer weather on the way, the free skate marked the end of the skating season, Cynthia Cakebread said, who is the Town of Essex’s Manager of Recreation and Culture. This skate event, however, was only part of several events hosted by the Town of Essex over March Break.

Other events over the March Break included additional free skates that SX Communications and Xplornet sponsored, recreational swims at the Essex Recreation Complex pool, which did have a small fee, and a beach-themed day camp program.

Cakebread said the day camp program has continued to grow since it was first organized more than 15 years ago. It has become quite popular with parents and children.

“It’s gotten busier every year,” Cakebread said. “From its very small start in its first year, we might have had 10 or 15 kids, and we were 75 plus kids a day here.”

The day camp program was not the only event which was well-attended, however. Cakebread noted that Town recreation centre welcomed some 200 skaters and 530 swimmers during the March Break.

The events certainly helped to keep Essex’s younger residents entertained during their week off. Cakebread said that the Town will continue to look to promote activities that both entertain and promote physical fitness for children and families.

“We want to be able to provide as many events, activities, [and] ways to get our families out,” Cakebread said. “It’s very much our mandate to provide services that encourage both physical fitness, activity, [and] getting outside.”