First Pix from Ottawa's Kilt Skate, 2016

Well, did you ever! What a swell party that was! The officials were on hand, the media was on hand, the skaters were on hand in all their kilted glory.  Oh, and there was free birthday cake and hot chocolate for the kids of all ages.  Here's some early photos of today's kilt skate, courtesy of Homero Martinez who has come here all the way from Mexico City, plus a couple of pix of our own.

Snow had been falling all morning. At noon, the lads take the shovels to clear it away. 

Snow had been falling all morning. At noon, the lads take the shovels to clear it away. 

Clearing the snow at Lansdowne Park Skating Court.

Clearing the snow at Lansdowne Park Skating Court.

12:10 p.m. and we give the ice a try -- not a lot of skaters yet.

12:10 p.m. and we give the ice a try -- not a lot of skaters yet.

The piper warms up his pipes.

The piper warms up his pipes.

Consulting logistics with Sue Tolusso:  where's the starting line going to be?

Consulting logistics with Sue Tolusso:  where's the starting line going to be?

Consulting logistics with the SSO's photographer, Roman Romanovich.

Consulting logistics with the SSO's photographer, Roman Romanovich.

The skater who came the furthest distance to don a tartan and celebrate Sir John A's birthday:  Bernardo Junges of Porto--Alegre, Brazil.

The skater who came the furthest distance to don a tartan and celebrate Sir John A's birthday:  Bernardo Junges of Porto--Alegre, Brazil.

12:30 p.m.  Words of welcome from John Ivison, SSO Executive Director.

12:30 p.m.  Words of welcome from John Ivison, SSO Executive Director.

Mayor Jim Watson proclaims Saturday, January 16, 2016, as Sir John A. Macdonald Day in Ottawa.

Mayor Jim Watson proclaims Saturday, January 16, 2016, as Sir John A. Macdonald Day in Ottawa.

Skaters begin to gather at the starting line...

Skaters begin to gather at the starting line...

....while the official party poses for pix.  Left to right:  Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, SSO Secretary Heather Theoret; Mayor Jim Watson; Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna; SSO Executive Director John Ivison; SSO Skater-in-Chief Don Cummer.

....while the official party poses for pix.  Left to right:  Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, SSO Secretary Heather Theoret; Mayor Jim Watson; Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna; SSO Executive Director John Ivison; SSO Skater-in-Chief Don Cummer.

Heather Theoret hands out the golden scissors...

Heather Theoret hands out the golden scissors...

...the official party makes ready...

...the official party makes ready...

...the ribbon is cut...

...the ribbon is cut...

...and they're off!

...and they're off!

A great day for a kilt skate!

A great day for a kilt skate!

The hockey-stick saltire: symbol of Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

The hockey-stick saltire: symbol of Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

Jon Virag manages to elicit some bonnie tunes out of cold pipes while David Brown, Jennifer Doede, and Bernardo Junges listen.

Jon Virag manages to elicit some bonnie tunes out of cold pipes while David Brown, Jennifer Doede, and Bernardo Junges listen.

Meanwhile, with Sue MacGregor, Sabrina Sotiriu, and Janet Detillieux, there's a big demand for hot chocolate and a piece of Sir John A's birthday cake...

Meanwhile, with Sue MacGregor, Sabrina Sotiriu, and Janet Detillieux, there's a big demand for hot chocolate and a piece of Sir John A's birthday cake...

...from kids of all ages.

...from kids of all ages.

And all the while, the Rideau Canal Skateway leaps beneath the snow.

And all the while, the Rideau Canal Skateway leaps beneath the snow.