By CONNIE THOMPSON
Special Contributor to EUP News
Last Friday and Saturday on August 3rd and 4th, downtown Sault Ste. Marie was chock full of people. The inaugural Sidewalk Sales/Sault Ships Sailabration kicked off with an amazing array of events to attend, food to sample, and items to shop.
Approximately 40 vendors filled closed-off Ashmun Street and offered everything from cotton candy and pulled-pork sandwiches to bird feeders, paintings, hair accessories and much more.
The downtown businesses sprinkled the sidewalks with tables of sale goods and there was something of interest for everyone from three- to 93-years of age.
Kid-friendly events included a bouncy house, hula-hoop contests, face painting, clay pot painting and more. For two days the streets were filled with tiny faces decorated with butterflies, tigers and spiderman emblems. There was also a petting zoo and a hockey shoot to participate in.
Four different U.S. Navy bands set up and played during the weekend. The announcer for the Brass band reminded us that “the U.S. Navy is everywhere protecting you – on land, on sea and on the coastlines. With the earth being 70 percent water and with 80 percent of the world’s population living on or near the coasts – the U.S. Navy has a lot of area to cover and we are proud to be here today.” The bands ranged from pop/rock and dixieland to a 40-piece wind ensemble and a jazz band. Even though the temperatures were in the high 80s, every bit of shade was utilized to watch these energetic performers.
Close to downtown the tall ship “Inland Sea” was anchored for free tours and a voyageur encampment was re-enacted on Water Street.
Saturday morning brought in the “Slashin’ Ashmun” Car Show with over 50 participants. First time exhibitor Jamie and her husband brought their red 1957 Chevrolet out to show. “It was neat, especially because we got a chance to meet two previous owners of our car. This car is local, so it’s fun to help put together its history,” she said.
All weekend the Soo Eagles Hockey Team members walked around passing out schedules and free bumper stickers, while the Sault Area High School Pom Pom Squad conducted a fund-raiser of their own by walking around with signs proclaiming, “Got Dip?” (they were selling dip mixes).
Beautiful weather combined with fun events and plentiful food left many people smiling around the downtown area.