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The Hudson’s annual New Year’s Day skate on the Eramosa River might soon go underwater.

The family has been going to Grandma’s house, gathering friends and neighbours in Rockwood, and heading down to the water for a big game of hockey for over four decades.

“It’s just become the one day of the year when we all come and get together,” said Liz Hudson. “I always said if Mom ever sold the house people would still show up on New Year’s Day.”

Former Rockwood resident Frazer Nagy says an old dam that used to operate nearby created the perfect sheet of ice, but that frozen water has been put in jeopardy in recent years.

“In the last four years we’ve only been able to go out on the ice once,” he said. “In several other years we were playing with a patch of open water not too far away.”

For the 2020 get together, the Hudson’s settling for a frozen parking lot as their rink.

Nagy adds that it’s eye opening to see how climate change has hit home.

“The get together has really brought us together for generations, I grew up learning how to skate here,” he said. “I am very fearful for my children who may never be able to play in the same way I did.”

Despite the thin ice, the Rockwood community and Hudson family say they’re dedicated to keeping the New Year’s Day tradition going.

“This has been going on for most of my Mom’s life,” said Sofia Hudson. “It’s great.”