A father-son team has been working long hours to get the ice rink ready at the Similkameen Recreation Centre.
“I think we’re going to make it,” Terry Zeller said while flooding the ice Monday night.
Zeller has put the ice in for Keremeos at the rec centre for the past 28 years. About 15 years ago when his son Keith Erickson moved back to the community he enlisted his help.
“It’s all for the kids. I started it doing it for my kids when they were small and then the grandkids. The children get so excited. It’s so nice to see the community come out during LightUp for the first skate,” Zeller said.
Zeller and Erickson have been working on building the ice since Nov. 16 when the machines were turned on.
On Sunday they put in a 10-hour day. Because temperatures were just right Monday they started at 6 a.m. and were still working heading into the supper hour with plans of finishing building the ice and then painting it white that night.
“You have to do it when the temperatures are just right,” Erickson said.
Despite temperatures being fairly warm the last few weeks, Zeller said this year was easier then some for putting in the ice.
In the past they’ve had the ice almost put in and lost it all because of a warm snap, and mechanical malfunction, and other years rain meant lines disappeared.
“That year we lost it was a pretty rough last 72 hours,” Erickson said with a laugh, adding, “But we got it back and opened on time.”
With the temperatures expecting to dip into the minus, the father-son team are feeling pretty confident, but not too confident.
“As long as the weather holds out it should all be a go,” Zeller said.
The goal is to have the ice finished for Friday of LightUp weekend when the first free skate of the year takes place.
The recreation centre should be a busy place Friday night after the parade and meet Santa event at Victory Hall.
There will be free bowling and the rock wall will be open on Friday night as well.
“We’ve been offering free bowling and rock wall on Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the four weeks. This will be our last free week,” he said.
“It’s been great having so many families and children come out.”
LightUp weekend is Keremeos’ kickoff to the holiday season.
The parade starts everything off on Friday night at 5:30 p.m.
The craft fair, which opens at 3 p.m. that day at Victory Hall, will be the place to be after the parade to get a chance to talk to Santa.
The craft fair will also take place Saturday along with breakfast with Santa at the Elks hall.
Select wineries and cideries are also open throughout the weekend and local businesses have a variety of a gift ideas for that special someone.
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