Warm weekend weather melts away community ice rinks

Stewartville’s ice rink did not open as planned.

Posted: Dec 16, 2018 10:06 PM

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. – The weekend’s warm weather melted away community ice rinks in Stewartville and Byron.

On Facebook, the City of Stewartville let community members know the two ice rinks at Meadow Park and Florence Park will not open because of lack of ice.

“It'd be nice to get out there and skate a little bit but I guess we'll just have to be patient,” Drew Lawson of Stewartville said.
His daughter plays hockey and said she’s eager to get out on the ice.

“I'd rather have it be prepared fully before we get on the ice. So, I guess it takes a little bit more time and we get warmer weather we'll just deal with it for now,” he said.

Lawson said he’s thankful for the convenience of the local rinks when they are up and running.

“We don’t have to drive to Rochester,” he said. “If we want to just get out for a quick half hour or hour in the evenings then it makes it pretty easy for us to just jump on the rink a couple blocks away.”

While Lawson is being patient, others in the area are taking matters into their own hands. Andrew Langseth made a rink in his backyard for the fourth year in a row.

“My favorite part of having our own is that our kids can come and play whenever they want,” he said. “So they'll wake up at six in the morning shooting pucks around, we play broomball every Friday night.”
A giant tarp base and wooden sides keeps his ice frozen, unlike the community rinks.

“It's pretty soft today, but nothing can get out,” Langseth said. “It's in a confined space, that's the game changer.”

Like Stewartville’s, Byron’s community rink needs more ice. But it also needs an ice rink attendant before it opens.

On Facebook, the city posted its job listing and let community members know the warming house cannot open without an attendant.

There is no word yet on when the Stewartville or Byron community rinks will open. Rochester’s rink at Soldier’s Field is scheduled to open on December 26th.

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