Norwich Recreation Center Rents Out Free Ice Skates
Published: February 2nd, 2024
By: Kelli Miller

Norwich Recreation Center rents out free ice skates Skaters 18 or older can sign out skates from Friday, February 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, February 3 and 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Robert Mason Recreation Center at the ice rink at Weiler Park. (Photo by Kelli Miller)

NORWICH — Most recently, several local residents and organizations have been enjoying the ice rink in East Park.

To add to that enjoyment, starting this Friday, February 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., skaters 18 or older, will have the opportunity to borrow skates by signing them out at Robert Mason Recreation Center at the ice rink at Weiler Park.

Youth Bureau Director Anthony Testani said the rink started out as “bring your own” but with the delay in opening the ice rink at Weiler Park, they decided to make the change and offer the sign out for skates.

“You'll be able to sign the skates out for the day, the weekend or a week, but must have Identification proving you're 18 or older,” he said. 

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Testani said the rink has brought families downtown, hopefully stopping to enjoy some of the businesses.

“I believe it has also provided people with a social connection, an opportunity to get out to meet people at the rink,” he said.

“I've had a number of people volunteer to remove snow from the ice or help smooth the surface of the ice,” he added. “I believe this shows a sense of community ownership or pride in what we have to offer.”

Testani said adding the rink in East Park made it possible to offer skating this season that they would not have been able to, with just the rink at Weiler Park.

He added, the weather the last couple of weeks has been great for the ice so they'll keep it open as long as the cold weather allows the ice to remain solid.

“The plan is to have the rink in East Park each winter,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get it up earlier next year allowing for more skate time.”

The rink is open during normal park hours.

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Testani explained the rink at Weiler Park is weather dependent. Counting this year, three of the last four years they were unable to open the rink due to weather conditions and one year of that was due to the pandemic.

He said going back to 2013, the rink has been open only 219 days over those winters.

“Our plan is to continue to use it as an ice rink in the winter months but another option was needed,” he said. “ Improvements had been made to the surface of rink this past summer. This spring pickle ball courts will be added to the rink, allowing us to use the rink as a dual purpose facility.”