Ice rinks open for skaters
This time last year, unseasonably warm temperatures left a big question mark on the outdoor ice rink schedule in Farmington and Rosemount. The warm weather made it hard for parks personnel to pour hard ice, but that’s not the case this year.
Farmington’s two outdoor hockey rinks and five pleasure rinks will open Friday, and this year’s cold weather has done wonders to keep the ice pouring process on schedule.
The Rosemount outdoor rinks opened Dec. 16. There will not be a warming house at Rosemount Middle School this winter. Warming houses are located at Jaycee, Bloomfield and Central parks. The warming housees are open 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 9 p.m. Central Park's warming house is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Rosemount's outdoor rinks generally stay open until mid-February, weather depending.
In Farmington, warming houses will open at Rambling River Park and North Creek Park at 4 p.m. on Friday, officially kicking off the outdoor ice season in Farmington. Both locations have hockey rinks and pleasure rinks. In addition, smaller pleasure rinks have been poured at Farmington Elementary School, Meadowview Elementary School and Tamarack Park.
All rinks are ready to go, Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad said.
The hockey rinks are usually easier to flood, he said, because those are poured over a concrete base in the parks. The pleasure rinks, however, are poured directly onto the ground. Last year, the warm temperatures kept the ground from becoming cold enough to freeze the water and form ice when the rinks were poured.
On Monday, though, Distad said both the hockey and pleasure rinks had good bases started. He expected additional work on the pleasure rinks this week, but all of them should be ready by the time warming houses open Friday.
“We’ve had just about perfect conditions leading up to the opening. With the temperatures in the teens for highs, that’s just about perfect skating weather,” Distad said. “We’ve been very fortunate the weather has been cooperative for us getting out and getting the rinks ready this year.”
In the past, the city has also had a pleasure rink at Hill Dee Park. This year, Distad said, parks staff has opted to not pour a rink at that location. The Hill Dee rink was not used enough in recent years to justify pouring a rink there, he said.
If the weather cooperates, the ice rinks and warming houses will be open through mid-February.