Officials prepare to open the Welland Canal

As Spring slowly inches closer, officials are getting ready to open the Welland Canal.

Celebratory Top Hat Ceremonies will be held in St. Catharines and Port Colborne on Thursday, March 29th. 

Dignitaries in Port Colborne will kick things off at 8 a.m at Lock 8 Gateway Park with a pancake breakfast as Mayor John Maloney presents a top hat to the captain of the first downbound vessel.

In St. Catharines, Mayor Walter Sendzik will do the same for the captain of the first upbound vessel at 10 a.m. at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

The Top Hat Ceremony has been going strong more for than 45 years, originally beginning in Port Colborne in the early 1970s.