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Winter Wonderland kicks off 2015 skating season at BSC

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It was really, really cold when the Bielenberg Sports Center outdoor pleasure rink officially opened for its first season in 2014. Just a year later, warmer temperatures have put the opening behind.

But the promise of cooler December temperatures means the pleasure rink opens just a week later than last year. Officially, the rink will open Sunday, Dec. 6, with the Winter Wonderland event. 

“There is some colder weather in the forecast, so there’s no reason to believe the rink won’t be ready for our event,” Woodbury Communications Coordinator Jason Egerstrom said. “It’s going to be exciting.”

This year’s rink opening is called Winter Wonderland, and the evening’s activity lineup promises to reflect the theme. Seasonal music will be provided by choirs from both East Ridge and Woodbury high schools. The Woodbury Figure Skating Club will perform a routine, and a tree-lighting ceremony is planned.

While the event is free and open to the public, participants are invited to share the goodwill of the holiday season. The East Ridge High School National Honor Society is accepting donations for Toys for Tots and a local women’s shelter. 

A toasty warm fire will be burning in the outdoor pit at BSC, and visitors will also be able to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or snacks from the concession stand. 

“It will be such a fun community event out there this year. It shows that Bielenberg is a good place to build that sense of community and come together,” Egerstrom said. 

The Winter Wonderland event kicks off the second year of operation for the outdoor pleasure rink at BSC. In its first year, the rink attracted nearly 17,000 visitors from Nov. 23 through its closing on March 5. 

The weather might be cooler by this weekend’s event, but chances are, it won’t be cold enough to flood all of the city’s outdoor skating rinks and open the warming houses. The pleasure rink at BSC has an underground cooling system, which will allow the rink to stay frozen before the ground freezes. The other rinks, however, are dependent upon the ground being frozen. To be on the safe side, Egerstrom said, the city plans to open the rest of the outdoor rinks and the warming houses on Dec. 26. 

Skate rental is available for those who do not have their own skates, for $5 per pair. Skate sharpening is available for anyone who needs the service, for $5 per pair. 

The Winter Wonderland event will begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at Bielenberg Sports Center. 

The rink will be open during regular hours of operation at BSC, generally 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the exception of when other activities are scheduled on the ice, or when the ice needs to be cleared of snow. 

For more information, visit the BSC website at, or call 651-714-3740.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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