ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - After a delay in getting the season started - partly due to warmer than normal weather in early December and pandemic restrictions - a popular community ice rink in St. Paul is back open.
Skaters took to the ice of the Groveland Ice Rinks Saturday afternoon. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place in Minnesota, ice rinks and other outdoor snow activities are providing an outlet for entertainment.
"It's kind of become a little holiday for us," said St. Paul resident Eric Skoglund. "Last year, we came out on the first day it opened, and this year, too."
Residents like Eric and his son Jack have been counting down for the opening of Groveland Ice Rinks. Now their wait is over.
"The community is really great," added Jack Skoglund. "Everybody is super nice here, we can get some nice pickup games. It's super fun and the ice is gorgeous every time we come."
It's a busy first day as the rink's opening was delayed because of weather and mandatory shutdown orders.
Groveland Ice Rinks isn't like most ice rinks in the area. It’s run by volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours each year to produce and maintain the outdoor rink.
"The governor’s order put us on hold for a little bit; we would have probably started putting some water down and getting a base coat down, maybe a week and a half sooner," said volunteer John Hoeschen. "It's my therapy to come out here and do this and to produce something that the community that I live in can come out and enjoy with each other like this."
There are new rules this year to keep people safe.
"We are requiring mask because that’s all part of the governor's guidelines, so make sure you’re wearing a mask and that’s for skating and everything," said St. Paul Parks and Recreation Supervisor Eric Thompson.