For some Southington residents and those in the surrounding area, the deep freeze that has gripped Connecticut may seem like a burden, but local ice skaters are making the best of the winter weather.
Ice skating is now in full swing in downtown Southington, thanks in large part to the frigid weather bringing out residents over the past few days, and officials are expecting large crowds at the ice rink located between High Street and Mill Street over the weekend.
"People had been calling to check in each day and we are happy to tell them, 'yes, we are open'," said Dawn Miceli, Southington Town Councilor and press contact for the ice rink. "There's an excitement about it and I think the new location is drawing even more interest."
Let Patch save you time. Get news like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
The ice rink is a return to tradition. First established 75 years ago on the same location, the town has often been a place where people enjoy ice skating.
For decades, people in town were left without a place to skate, however - that is until volunteers stepped up to bring the arena back to town at Veterans Memorial Park last winter.
"The feedback has been great," Miceli said. "I've heard from so many that this is the perfect location, bringing the arena back downtown."
Miceli said the plan is to leave the ice rink open durng scheduled hours for "as long as the weather will allow." The arena is open to the public with special sessions designated for those who would like to play ice hockey on it.
The town released the following late last year regarding use of the ice rink:
Public ice skating will be offered this season – weather permitting – at the town’s community ice skating rink on Mill Street. Hours of permitted use are Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Skaters use the rink at their own risk and appropriate safety gear is recommended. There is no skate attendant on duty and children should be supervised by a responsible adult. Alcohol is prohibited and food, drinks and smoking are not allowed in the skating area.
Hockey play, sticks or pucks are not allowed on ice during recreational skating times, but are allowed Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m. Hockey players must wear helmets/face shields and protective gear during hockey sessions. Recreational skating is prohibited during hockey sessions.
Parking for the community ice skating rink is on Mill Street at the Rails to Trails parking lot and the Southington Municipal Center parking lot.
The temporary ice rink was made available via generous donation from ESPN, Billy Carlson Heating & Air Conditioning, PTE Energy, The Calvanese Foundation, Ray Gorman and family, Yarde Metals, and an anonymous private donor.
For more information on the rink and it's hours, visit the town's website or the Southington Parks and Recreation Facebook page.
Make sure to like Southington Patch on Facebook and follow on Twitter for breaking news, daily updates and more!