MASON CITY, Iowa - In a matter of weeks, the Downtown Mason City arena at Southbridge Mall will be opened to the public. But before saying goodbye to the North Iowa Recreational Arena at the Fairgrounds, the North Iowa Figure Skating Club is holding one last skating showcase at the 'old barn.'
From country to pop to Christmas music, and even 'Mela Kaliki Maka', Saturday's event, which was also a club fundraiser, is a showcase of what these skaters can do. Malinda Voortmann and Alexis Beeman are committed to their craft.
"We come here Friday after school, early Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings to practice," Voortmann says.
"I usually skate six days a week, and I come over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before school," Beeman adds.
Skating is something they find exhilarating.
"It's just so much fun to do, and being able to do these amazing things is so amazing," Voortmann adds.
Sarah Anderegg is also a member of the club, something she's been doing since she was in Kindergarten.
"My Mom had told me that when she was little, she would skate out at the pond where she lived. And I was asking her, 'how do you skate? Can you teach me how to skate?' And one day, I came home with a flyer for the figure skating club, and she was like, 'oh we'll sign her up.'"
Now, with the new arena expected to open next month, these skaters say they'll miss the storied building.
"I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to the arena since I've skated here since I was little, but it's kind of exciting to see the new and improved," Anderegg says.
"There are so many great memories here, but it's going to be excited to be moving to the new rink," Voortmann notes.
"I'm looking forward to it. It also has that sad feeling about leaving this one, but I know I'm going to love the new one," Beeman adds.
When they make the move to the new arena, the club will have a designated office space, costume storage, and their own locker room.
Those skaters are not the only ones bidding farewell; the Mason City Mohawk Hockey Alumni weekend, which includes games with alumni and current members, a silent auction and arena tours, will begin on Friday.