Bemidji Residents Excited To Hit The Ice At Local Rinks
Even with the warmer temperatures, it was just cold enough to open the outdoor skating rinks in Bemidji today. The Parks and Recreation department was busy preparing the two rinks for public use.
Around noon, Meghan McDonald and almost two-year-old son Walker were out on the ice.
While the Parks and Recreation department had yet to clear away the snow, it didn’t deter the pair.
“Now that that nice cold week is gone, and the ice is nice, we’ll probably come back a few times a week,” said McDonald, who enjoys the facilities and that you can skate directly out onto the ice from the warming house.
Over at City Park, workers were busy clearing the ice. They needed to remove the snow in order to then flood the rinks, which takes about an hour.
“We know the ice isn’t in the best condition. Just bare with us- we’ll do the best we can,” said Gregg Standlien, the parks foreman. He said the warmer weather had contributed to the ice’s conditions.
A few hours later, the rinks were ready to go.
Dan Karalus was out on the rink shortly after the warming house opened.
“My two kids, as soon as they hear the ice is ready, they’re ready to get out here,” said Karalus.
With the rinks open, some were eager to test out a new skill.
“I just tried this program and got all this gear for free,” said Jeremy Teiken, who was excited to play some practice games.
For others getting out on the rink is second nature. Kaden Oshie, cousin of T.J. Oshie, who plays on the NHL Washington Capitals, says “maybe’” he’ll follow in his footsteps. For now, this was for the fun of it.
“I heard that this was going to be opening today. So, I just came out here because I wanted to skate because I haven’t skated in a long time,” said Oshie.
This season opener couldn’t have come soon enough.
“It feels just great to be out here and be with my friends and skate around,” said Taylor Johnson.
The warming houses will be closed on Christmas day, and have limited hours on Christmas and New Years Eve. More information on the skating rinks and the warming house hours can be found on the Parks and Rec website.