The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are planning the 2022 Soo Locks Engineers Day with visitors allowed across the locks, the first since before the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Visitors are welcome into the Soo Locks facility and across the locks 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 24. “Visitors are welcome to cross the gates, but the buildings will remain closed,” Area Engineer Kevin Sprague said.

Since 1975, the Soo Locks have been hosting Engineers Day, traditionally held the last Friday in June to honor the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ June 16, 1775 birthday.

Along with welcoming visitors into the Soo Locks complex, the Soo Locks Canal Park, viewing platform and Visitors Center will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is also closing a portion of Portage Avenue to focus on downtown city merchants and vendors.

Downtown Portage Avenue will close to vehicle traffic and open for pedestrians and vendors from Ferris Street to Osborn Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 24.

“The Soo Locks are so important to our history and our community, this annual event helps us celebrate that,” said Linda Hoath, director of the Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Last year we closed the street and had great success, we look forward to combining the street closure with the locks being opened to the public.”

Engineers Day 2022 will bring back some traditional partner events such as The United States Coast Guard open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Craft Show at the City Hall grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the new Lake Superior State University Center for Freshwater Research and Education will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24.