Cold weather needed to open rink on time

Cold weather needed to open rink on time

Staff at the Similkameen Recreation Centre are working hard to get the ice in.

UPDATE:

The rink will not be ready Friday but staff is working hard to get it in for the free skate scheduled for Sunday.

ORIGINAL:

Fingers are crossed the weather cooperates and the ice gets in before LightUp weekend.

Karl Donoghue, facility manger for the Similkameen Recreation Centre, said staff is trying to get the ice in but the weather earlier this week isn’t helping.

“It’s cooled down now but the wind is blowing terribly,” he said during a phone call Tuesday morning. “You saw the temperatures yesterday (Monday). With warm weather like that and sunshine there isn’t much we can do. We are working at night because we can’t work during the day on this. We just have to wait and see. We’ll do everything we can to be ready in time.”

The staff has been working the last week to try to set down the base for the ice but aren’t having much luck keeping it.

Some ice has remained despite the warm weather, but Donoghue wasn’t sure how thick it is as of Tuesday morning because there was so much water on top.

“The secret really is that base layer. The first quarter inch is all by hand. That’s why you see a bunch of people down on the ice at night. The important thing is that first layer is set basically it adheres to the concrete.”

If temperatures stay below freezing the plan is to open the rink on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The first skate is always a paid skate with participation costing $4 for children and $5 for adults. Flex passes are available at the recreation centre for 10 passes.

The first free skate is scheduled for Sunday starting at 1 p.m. as part of LightUp festivities.

“If we can get the cold days and nights we’ll work as hard as we can to get it ready. There might not be hockey lines in it, but that’s OK,” he said.

Free skates happen throughout the Christmas vacation. School groups also use the rink before Christmas break and skating lessons are still open for registration.

People are encouraged to check the village’s website to see if the rink is open before driving down or call rec centre at 250-499-2400 to hear on the message.