Public ice skating is returning to town for the second straight year as officials and volunteers prepare to open up the rink for the season, but the ice won’t be filling the fields at Memorial Park this year.
An agreement between organizers of the ice rink and the Southington Water Department will instead bring the rink to downtown Southington at the water department’s Mill Street site. Organizers are excited about the change, which they said would bring more foot traffic to the downtown area.
“This is a win for everyone,” said Dawn Miceli, member of the town council and a volunteer who helped bring the rink to Southington for the first time in 2011-12. “The rink will now be centrally located downtown, closer to our retailers and it will be a draw for both rink and local merchants to help bring additional families out.”
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The rink, a temporary staging that will include water for ice provided free of charge by the Southington Water Department, is expected to open in mid-December, likely sometime after the second weekend according to Miceli.
For residents throughout the area, the opportunity to skate outdoors in the winter is made possible thanks to efforts of volunteers led by Southington resident Michael Domian.
Domian, a member of the town’s Board of Water Commissioners, told Southington Patch in an interview last year that the idea came as he and some neighbors were watching their children skate in a self-made backyard rink. The rink was small, but brought back fond memories of what it was like to be able to skate outside as a child.
That’s the type of joy he hopes everyone is able to experience.
“It’s exciting. I remember as a kid, we used to go out during December vacation and we’d spend the whole week skating. It was something we looked forward to,” Domian said. “That’s the kind of excitement I hope to see from the children and families in Southington.”
The rink, purchased from NiceRink.com, a Wisconsin-based company, was bought at no cost to the taxpayers and will be maintained at no cost to the town.
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