Thanks for the new ice rink

“I think skating helped me find myself.”
—Peggy Fleming

In years past, in communities all throughout the area, a lot of people would find themselves putting on a pair of ice skates and ever so tentatively stepping on to an outdoor ice rink in their backyard, the city square, or on a local pond.

For skaters, there was a time of uncertainty; a period of indecision; and bit of flailing and stumbling; the occasional fall; and, finally, a successful glide around the rink.

Skating can be very metaphoric. There can be a lot of life comparisons made while out slipping, sliding, and finally gracefully gliding along the ice.

More important, though, ice skating can be the ‘stuff’ of lasting memories.

Back in the day, just about every hard frozen surface in any given community became an ice rink of sorts.

Skating parties were the norm. Bonfires warmed chilled bones, and hot cocoa warmed the soul.

This winter, thanks to an initiative by the Big Rapids Department of Public Works team, people from the city and surrounding communities will be able to enjoy the experience of an outdoor ice rink.

The forms went up this week, and the ice should be read for skating soon.

We appreciate the effort made by city employees to create another recreational opportunity for young and old ice skating aficionados alike.

We can easily anticipate the memories that will be nurtured as moms and dads teach a new generation the joys of outdoor ice skating. At the same time, we can also imagine the recollections of years gone by as older couples join hands for a gentle circling of the new rink.

Kudos to the public works team and city crews for not only the work and effort spent actually building the Hemlock Park rink, but also for the imagination, and initiative shown in bringing this idea to fruition.

Frankly, every city needs a serious outdoor ice rink.

Now we have one.

Thanks to all involved.

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