Fairmont opens skating rink

FAIRMONT – For those willing to brave the cold, Fairmont’s outdoor ice skating rink is ready for use, after a hiatus that lasted several winters.

“Especially over the holidays, people come back and they want to go skating,” said Troy Nemmers, the city’s public works director. “… It’s nice to have a rink available for people to go outside on warmer days than today.”

In years gone by, the city had two outdoor skating rinks – at 10th Street and Cardinal Park. Cardinal Park, however, is no longer maintained by the city, and 10th Street has been unavailable for a few years now.

Located on the north side of town, at the intersection of 10th and North Hampton streets, the ice rink is certainly nothing fancy, but it’s an age-old tradition – when the weather cooperates.

“The past couple years we were plowing so much snow we couldn’t get at it,” said Nick Lardy, parks and streets supervisor, who remembers the rink from his childhood.

This year, however, the cold weather combined with a shortage of snow created the perfect combination for making skate-worthy ice.

“We flooded it a final time on Friday, and somebody was skating on it over the weekend,” he said.

Depending on the rink’s usage, the city’s park board would like to expand the site in the future by adding lights and a warming house.

“If five kids use it three times a winter, nothing’s really going to happen,” Lardy said. “This is kind of a test run. We’ll see how it goes.”