City Pledges Support to BIA for Anniversary and Memorial Cup Party

The City of Windsor wants to make its birthday and Memorial Cup opening weekend party one for the books.

Windsor's 125th birthday will be sharing the spotlight with 99th Memorial Cup opener the weekend of May 19.

Plans are in the works to assure both are a success, says City of Windsor community and special events coordinator Mike Taylor.

Downtown Windsor BIA members were briefed on plans that could include, a procession of athletes, big screen TV's to watch the tournament, and two stages for live entertainment.

While Taylor stressed, not every item on the agenda may go forward, roads will be closed for extended patios on Ouellette Ave. from Wyandotte St. to Riverside Dr. beginning Friday and ending late Saturday night.

"The Onus will be on us to provide the events," says Revival and Imperial night club owner Remo Agostino." But I think it's a great idea to have the roads closed. It gives us a little bit of a head start to showcase the city and showcase us."

Some members voiced concerns over the short window of support with memorial cup concluding the following weekend.

Association chair Larry Horwitz says, the additional resources are welcomed, but when the city's birthday passes, there's still thousands of people in town for the Memorial Cup looking for entertainment.

"I'm glad the city's coming to the table and closing the streets and making that a massive party on the first weekend of the memorial cup, but that has to be translated to the next weekend and all through the summer months," he says.

Several other BIA members also voiced concerns over the costs involved with extended patios.

An issue Horwitz says can be counterproductive.

"Different night clubs and restaurants have ... had street closures, but now it's become prohibitive because of policing and the costs that have been downloaded to the merchants," says Horwitz.

Horwitz and many other BIA members asked Taylor about backing for the remainder of Memorial Cup week and into the following weekend.

Taylor stressed the meeting was only in regards to the anniversary weekend.

He went on to say plans beyond that would have to be treated as a separate event and the BIA would have to bring a request before council.

The Spitfires will kick-off the Memorial Cup against the winner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at 7 pm on Friday May 19.  The tournament final is 7 pm Sunday May 28.