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Public ice skating season is underway throughout county

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Snow and ice have reached the north country this season, and with the winter conditions, the public skating season has come to St. Lawrence County arenas.

The Canton Recreational Pavilion on outer Lincoln Street opened its rink for public skating in late September and it will continue until March.

Although the schedule varies, Larry G. Olmstead, the maintenance supervisor, said the facility usually has one or two hours designated to public skating on Saturdays, Sundays and most Mondays.

Mr. Olmstead said the number of people using the rink during public skating has increased since September, and he expects the number to continue increasing through the holiday season.

“When kids are on school break, the numbers definitely increase,” he said. “Cold weather tends to give people the feel that it’s skating time.”

The recreational pavilion also has an outdoor rink that will be twice as big this year as it was last year, according to Mr. Olmstead.

A “big slab of blacktop” on the side of the building is the layout of the new rink, a project that was just completed about two weeks ago.

Instead of boards, they’ll use snow banks for the outdoor rink this year, which could be up and running anywhere from mid-December to mid-January.

Mr. Olmstead they usually rotate the outdoor rink every two hours between pick-up hockey and public skating.

“There’s less and less for kids to do around here,” Steven T. Stone, Canton, said. “This center is all we have in Canton for recreation now besides the beach when it’s open.”

Mr. Stone and his 11-year-old daughter, Emily C., took advantage of Canton’s public skating Monday afternoon.

“It’s cheap and fun to do,” Emily said. “It’s an activity that’s easy to afford.”

Potsdam’s Pine Street Arena is also open for public skating from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Pine Street Arena’s Recreational Director Tim W. Carey said that although they have built outdoor rinks in the parking lot in previous years, they won’t have one this year.

“The last few winters, it hasn’t stayed cold enough long enough to do that,” he said.

The Massena Arena will also have public skating through March, but the schedule will vary from week to week, according to Director of Recreation Richard A. Boprey.

“We’ll also have five outdoor rinks, but they won’t be opening until the weather gets cold,” he said.

Mr. Boprey said that during the holiday season they often rent out the rink to local businesses.

Public ice skating is also available at the Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center in Ogdensburg.

Their schedule is updated regularly on their Facebook page.

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