Bielenberg Sports Center kicks off outdoor pleasure skating season
Sunday was one of the coldest days so far this winter, but it was just about perfect for the grand opening of Bielenberg Sports Center’s outdoor ice rink.
The rink opened to the public on Nov. 22, but the city of Woodbury celebrated its official opening with a tree lighting ceremony Nov. 30. The rink was festooned with white lights, and a tall holiday tree, placed at the end of the rink, was lit by Wes Walz.
Though this was the first such tree lighting at the outdoor rink, Woodbury Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt hopes to make it an annual event to kick off the outdoor pleasure skating season.
The outdoor rink is the latest project to be completed as part of the Bielenberg Sports Center’s $22 million expansion. This is the first year the outdoor rink is in service.
Designed as a pleasure skating rink, the outdoor ice is generally open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Klatt hopes it will attract families and individuals who are not part of the community’s many hockey programs.
“It’s designed as a pleasure skating rink only,” Klatt said. “We will allow the smaller kids like the mites and the termites to do some activities, but (for) the older kids and the adults, the focus is on skating and we want to build a really strong tradition of skating with parents, families and kids.”
Skate rentals are available for $2 on a first-come, first-served basis. Skate sharpening is also available, for $5.
The outdoor rink is cooled through a geothermal heating and cooling system, which will allow the rink to stay colder longer into the winter. It extends the outdoor skating schedule by several weeks, Klatt said.
“By having good, quality outdoor ice that’s refrigerated and they can count on day in and day out throughout the skating season, we think that’s going to draw a lot of people to this facility and give them a good reason to get outside in the winter,” he said.