ANTIGONISH: The public will be able to lace up their skates this winter at the Antigonish Arena as ice is currently being installed.

The Antigonish Arena Commission voted to resume operations at the James Street arena during a meeting earlier this week.

Owen McCarron, who is the warden of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, advised arena staff have already been making the necessary preparations to have the ice surface ready to go for Oct. 1.

Once the area is open to the public, up to 50 people will be able to participate in a sporting event; while also allowing for of up to 200 spectators, who follow provincial social distancing protocols.

McCarron said this will also allow for minor hockey programs to resume, something everyone around Antigonish is chomping at the bit to get going.

He called the re-opening of the Antigonish Arena a huge relief, highlighting how many people look forward to the minor hockey and Junior hockey seasons, calling it a cornerstone in the community’s culture.

“We’re happy to see it open. It starts to show a little bit of normalcy coming back into our community,” McCarron said. “And this time of year, it’s certainly nice to see that, and I know the groups [who] use the arena will be quite happy with that decision.”