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Former Island of Lights displays relit

The PRRA staff is looking into the “city light vault” to see what displays it can borrow to light up around Stride Place and possibly at Rotary Republic of Manitobah Park. Mickey Dumont/Citizen Photo

The PRRA is digging into the Christmas lights vault at City Hall.

“These lights were just sitting around and we took a look at what would be appropriate around Stride Place,” said Portage Regional Recreation Authority Inc. boss David Sattler.

If you have recently visited the island you will have noticed the festive candy cane lights along with an animated hockey player as lit up and as bright as the local Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) team. Short of a few offensive moves, the display, while cheerful enough, is not quite as motivated as our Terriers are today, but festive and in the Christmas mood nonetheless.

The Terriers are first in the MJHL, maybe the light display is a Christmas nod to their efforts. Sattler says staff is looking deeper into the “city light vault” to see what other festive displays it can borrow to light up around Stride Place. “We’re installing the lights where they don’t have to be monitored and be enjoyed,” the Stride Place manager said.

The local cycling group, “The Junkyard Dogs” received a grant to groom and maintain cross country ski trails at Rotary Republic of Manitobah Park where the PRRA might also put some of the lights. “If the trails are well used we’re going to see if we can put some of the displays in the park. It will be nice when you are out there skiing.”

“It’s never going to be what it used to be, but it’s always a little something nice when you come across the bridge to the island.”

The Junkyard Dogs will be establishing the first official cross country ski trails in Portage la Prairie. Unofficially, cross-country skiing enthusiasts each year leave their trails all through the golf course, Island Park and on the lake. “We don’t officially have designated cross-country ski trails. The Junkyard Dogs will put in three sets of trails at Rotary Republic of Manitobah Park,” said Sattler. “We don’t have that kind of asset here, presently.”

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