File photo

Red Deer’s community skating rinks almost ready for use

One Red Deer’s — and Canada’s — most treasured pastimes is almost ready for another winter.

The community outdoor ice rinks are nearly ready for use.

“I think from a population standpoint, given the size of city we are, our outdoor rinks are probably second to none,” said John Eastwood, Red Deer Parks Amenities supervisor.

“Red Deerians are pretty lucky.”

A release Tuesday said the rinks should be ready to use by Friday, weather permitting. Crews are working to get them in order for the planned opening.

The nets will be put out and the lights will be turned on once the rinks open.

The rinks will open a little later than usual, but only by about a week. Eastwood said it has been a see-saw battle this fall and early winter to get the rinks ready.

“We had some really tough weather,” said Eastwood. “We were really warm there for quite a while. Then we got the cold so we were able to do some flooding and get the ice built up.

“Then we had a warm snap and we lost a fair bit of it. No snow hasn’t helped a lot either, we need that snow to get a base to establish our rinks.”

But after the battle, the amenities supervisor is confident the rinks are on track to open.

Eastwood was also enthusiastic about Bower Ponds being ready by the weekend.

”We should have all of our surfaces up and running for this weekend,” said Eastwood.

When natural ice surfaces are safe to use, the thin ice warning signs will be removed.

The city recommends the use of helmets at all times and reminds users hockey pucks and sticks are not permitted at Bower Ponds or the Recreation Centre Oval.

For more information about the rinks visit www.reddeer.ca/rpc.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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