It is never too early to start planning a series of welcoming events to cruise ship passengers visiting Midland again this summer. It is understood that two cruise companies have Midland as one of their ports of call as they cruise the Great Lakes.
Global travellers in Huronia know how welcomed they are when the dock overseas, in the south Atlantic or elsewhere. No sooner than one’s ship arrives in port, natives dressed in their traditional costumes, bands and musicians playing, souvenir sellers peddling their wares and a veritable red carpet rolled out by those communities.
Their taxis, buses and vans are at the ready to take passengers to historic attractions, open air markets, beaches and beyond.
Maybe Midland should consider a more welcoming approach to the tourism which we se desperately need. Perhaps local First Nations group could meet cruise ships here; Midland Pipes and Drums, local fiddlers, wagon ride conductors, guides to take people to our famed historic sites and shuttles to the top of King street so the visitors can walk back to the ship while enjoying the downtown merchants. Perhaps BIA or Chamber of Commerce tours to see our picturesque murals and other historic attractions.
If a ship is laying over, a fireworks display could easily be a highlight. And how about a nearby open air market with local maple syrup (one of the must have items) and butter tarts for sale. Each passenger could receive gift bags from the town, lapel pins, a small cardboard key to the city, a map, post cards already stamped, a small history of the town and a CD/DVD that describes Midland in all of its splendour. A BBQ could be set up, ice cream available, both sponsored by a service club, BIA or C of C. As one of the new pillars to revitalize our town’s future, now is the time to start to plan for this summer. Now’s the time to get cracking.