Walking on sunshine

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A very large group of friends walked, bicycled, or rolled their way across the International Bridge in what has become known as  ‘The Friendship Walk’ on Saturday, June 25th, 2016.

With an estimated 2,000 folks participating, the weather could not have been better. The heat was on, though, with temperatures climbing to at least 82 Degrees Fahrenheit, or 27 degrees Celsius.  In a generous attempt to keep the participants hydrated, War Memorial Hospital, in Soo, Michigan provided free bottled water.  Volunteers were handing them out as people arrived on buses from the Canadian Sault, beginning at 7:00 am. School buses continued to pick folks up on the Canadian side, from the Sault’s Canal District, and ferrying them to the Norris Centre, Lake Superior State University. The walk moves from the American side to the Canadian side of the International Bridge.

20160625_103954The Lock City Chorus opened the Friendship Ceremonies with both national anthems, and has done so for the past 15 years.

20160625_104911Marchy Bruni, Sault, Ontario Municipal Councillor and Kathleen Twardy, Sault Michigan City Commissioner shared greetings from their respect communities.

A parade of bicycles took place simultaneously. CanUsa couple, Jay Gage, a Soo Michigan City Commissioner and Lindsay Koskenoja, a Canadian data analyst with Sault Area Hospital packed up ‘Michy’ Meatball, their Pomeranian pooch, and cycled their way across the International Bridge.

20160625_103656U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director, Patrick Wilson  (Area Port Director for the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry) and his son Joshua took part in the annual trek.

The International Bridge Administration, and the Chamber(s) of Commerce from the twin Sault’s, together with numerous volunteers, support the annual friendship walk, on both sides of the bridge. As folks were entering Sault Canada, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Corps, including Art & Rita Fink, were handing out ‘Certificates of Participation’ and Canadian flag pins.