Saturday, May 24, 2008


(Town of Fort Erie press release)

May 26, 2008 - Run, bike or walk to Waverly Beach Park on Saturday, May 31 to celebrate the grand opening of the Erie Beach section of the Friendship Trail, and the completion of the Friendship Trail through Fort Erie.

As a reminder of the glory days of the Erie Beach Amusement Park in the 1920s, the theme of the celebration will be Picnic in the Park, featuring live music by the Can-Am Swing Band, free carousel rides, Fluffy the Clown, face painting, a barbecue, cotton candy, snow cones and a chance to win fabulous prizes.

“As part of the Region’s ‘Bike to Work - Bike to Get There’ program, we encourage people to ride their bicycles or walk the Friendship Trail to get to the opening on Saturday," said Manager of Parks and Open Space Development Signe Hansen, "And we will even be giving away two bikes, to encourage the use of the trail and an active lifestyle." The Bridgeburg Station, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach Business Improvement Areas have all chipped in for a bicycle to be given away as one of several prizes. The Fort Erie Community Credit Union has donated another bike prize.

Other event sponsors include Crown Amusements, M&M Meats, the Fort Erie Women’s Conservation Auxiliary, the Head Injury Association of Fort Erie, the Peace Bridge Authority, the Crystal Beach Candy Co., Sobey’s and Joe’s Valu-Mart.

“We invite you to bring your family to celebrate the history of our community and enjoy the music, food and activities at this magnificent setting along Lake Erie”, said Mayor Douglas Martin. “Experience Fort Erie’s picturesque neighbourhoods, natural areas, historic districts and exquisite waterfront by walking, running, biking, rollerblading or skiing the Friendship Trail”.

"This section of the Friendship Trail has a very interesting history and is an important part of what defined Fort Erie," said Jane Davies, administrator-curator of the Fort Erie Museum. "People would come here for organized picnics and other events, or just to enjoy themselves on the waterfront." In addition to a fabulous vista of Lake Erie, one can see the remaining structures from a long-gone era when vacationers flocked to the Erie Beach Amusement Park.

The Friendship Trail makes an important contribution to improving the quality of life in Fort Erie, undoubtedly being one of Fort Erie’s most utilized and recognized recreational amenities – a first-class trail network that connects residents and visitors alike to various attractions and services throughout the community, as well as to Niagara Falls and Port Colborne.

The opening ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with festivities to follow. Waverly Beach Park is located near the intersection of Helena Street and Edgemere Road, on the Lake Erie waterfront.