Downtown Plaza debut to coincide with Tree Lighting, Moonlight Magic

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Launch night Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. will also feature Soo Market open late, skating at the plaza, Jay Case live on the Village Stage at 8 p.m. and free hot chocolate

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has released more details on what’s in store as it launches programming at the new Downtown Plaza, set for next Thursday, as first reported by SooToday earlier this week.

The city says the launch will take place in conjunction with two popular holiday events, while it also unveiled a lineup of community-oriented activities set for the coming weeks.

Full details are in the release that follows:

The heart of the City is about to be activated with entertainment and festivities. The City of Sault Ste. Marie is preparing to launch programming at the Downtown Plaza Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. to coincide with the Downtown Association’s annual Tree Lighting and Moonlight Magic event.

“City staff have an exciting lineup of programming planned in the downtown plaza in collaboration with our community partners and cultural groups,” said Tom Vair, deputy CAO, community development and enterprise services.

“Our downtown, with a world-class waterfront and over 200 locally owned businesses, continues to improve with investment from both the private sector and the municipality. The addition of this versatile, outdoor venue will undoubtedly enhance the vibrancy and amenities of our downtown.”

What: Downtown Plaza programming launch

Date: Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Downtown Plaza

Following the formal presentation, attendees are invited to the annual Tree Lighting in front of the courthouse and late-night shopping downtown. Activities at the plaza throughout the night include free hot chocolate, holiday lights, games, and entertainment with Jay Case from 8 – 10 p.m. at the Village Stage. The plaza’s skating rink will also be open for use (weather permitting). Residents, families, merchants, and visitors are welcome to attend.

“The Downtown Association eagerly welcomes the Plaza’s activation. It will bring increased foot traffic and opportunities for growth, and long-term value to the neighbourhood. Residents and visitors can expect the Downtown Plaza to become the focal point for celebrations, festivals, and cultural experiences throughout the year,” said Nicholas Luck, executive director, Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association.

Highlights for the holiday season at the plaza include holiday light displays, events at the Village stage including student choirs, movies, Hounds Fan Zones in advance of home games and viewing parties for away games. Other activities include skating on the rink, Soo Market extended hours, hot chocolate nights with festive adult drinks and a “Greyhounds at the Plaza” event on Dec. 4.

A series of events will be taking place in the plaza in the coming weeks including:

Friday, Nov. 17 – Hot chocolate Nights and Holiday Lights

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone 5 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov.18 – Movie in the Plaza (2 p.m. The Muppet Christmas Carol)

– Rotary Santa Claus Parade festivities at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 19 – Skate N’ Screen skating and movie (The Search for Santa Paws) at 2 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 23 – Soo Greyhound Fan Zone viewing party (away game) at 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 24 – Hot Chocolate Nights and Holiday Lights

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone viewing party (away game) at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 25 – Superior Heights Student Choir at 10 a.m.

– Skate N’ Screen skating and movie (Blippi and the Holiday Snow Globe) at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 26 – Skate N’ Screen skating and movie (Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year) at 2 p.m.

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone viewing party (away game) at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 29 – Soo Market open late 6 – 9 p.m.

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone viewing party (away game) at 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 1 – Hot Chocolate Night and Holiday Lights

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone 5 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – Soo Market open 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

– Movie in the Plaza at 2 p.m. (‘Twas the Night before Christmas)

– Soo Greyhound Fan Zone 5 – 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – Skate n’ Screen skating and a movie (Lego Star Wars Holiday Special and Ice Age Mammoth Christmas) at 2 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 4 – Meet the Soo Greyhounds 6 – 8 p.m.

As the City begins its official programming, residents are encouraged to stay informed by visiting the City’s website at or follow the City on social media for updates on events and a schedule of programming. The skating rink hours of operation are Monday to Friday noon – 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (weather permitting).

The Downtown Plaza was funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Rural Economic Development Program and FedNor. The Downtown Plaza also received support from local businesses and community development organizations, amassing an unprecedented $1.2 million for this municipal project.


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