The Peoples Park Outdoor Skating Rink opened for the season this past weekend, according to Detroit Lakes Public Works Director Brad Green. "It officially opened this past Friday, Dec. 29," Green said. "We weren't able to open earlier because we weren't able to make ice."
Green said that the city crews aren't able to flood the rink until the ground is completely frozen, which didn't happen until late this past week — when subzero temperatures hit the area.
Tom Gulon, the city's parks supervisor, says that the rink will now be open daily through at least Feb. 28, weather permitting.
"If it gets too cold — minus 10 degrees or below — or if there's a blizzard outside, we will close it," he said — meaning that the warming house will close, though the rink itself is always open for skating as long as there's still good ice.
Green added that the rink is also lighted during the evening hours, until 9 p.m. each night.
"We do provide free skates as available," he said, but only when the warming house is open. "When school's in session, (the warming house) is open from 3 to 9 p.m. each day," Gulon said. "On weekends and days when there's no school, we're open from noon to 9 p.m."
There will be no school in Detroit Lakes on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 15-16, due to Martin Luther King Day (a federal holiday) and a teacher in-service day, and again on Feb. 19-20, due to the President's Day holiday and another scheduled teacher inservice. On those days, the rink will be open from 12-9 p.m.
Once conditions become too warm for safe skating, the rink will close for the season. The public rink is located at 1324 Peoples St., in the middle of Peoples Park. For more information, please call 218-847-4637.
Located right across the street from Peoples Park, Kent Freeman Arena also offers public skating on a limited basis, when the indoor rinks are not being used for hockey or figure skating. Please visit www.dlyouthhockey.com and click on "Calendar" to view the schedule.