Outdoor skating has always played an important role as a winter pastime and social activity in the village of Blackville. Besides being a source of great joy and excitement for young skaters, more and more adults are taking to the ice to stay active during the cold winter months. The Blackville Outdoor Rink, located at 37 Alcorn Drive, is now open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 8:30pm, weather permitting, with the canteen available during peak hours. During the summer months, the rink is used as a skate park.
Operated by the Blackville Recreation Council, the rink has been a great success due in part to the assistance of community volunteers who help maintain the ice surface and premises.
“There are so many ways to participate in your community but the power of volunteers is the basis to the success of our outdoor rink!” volunteer Wendy Fortune continues, “Without our hard working volunteers, we would never be able to enjoy the short window of opportunity that our Canadian winters offer!”
Friday nights have proved especially popular with youth as the rink offers free public skating between 6:00pm and 8:30pm, as well as on Sunday afternoons from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The remainder of the week, ice times are divided between public skating and drop-in hockey. The full schedule can be viewed at http://www.villageofblackville.com/blackville_rink.html. The cost of admission is $2 per day.
The rink is also available for rentals for birthday parties, special events and for groups and clubs.
Blackville’s first official rink was built by Simon Bean in 1910 at the bottom of Lockstead Hill. The closed-in rink was a popular gathering place, where villagers enjoyed countless hours of skating and watching hockey games. Bands from Newcastle would arrive on the Whooper Train and entertain the crowds. On Christmas Eve in 1914, the rink was destroyed by fire. Until the current outdoor rink was built, villagers shovelled off the millpond for skating and playing hockey and also enjoyed Mr. Morgan’s Public Rink that was located at the Anglican Church Hall.
Blackville Recreation Council Vice President Ian Fortune hopes more people will come out and enjoy the great ice surface the Blackville rink offers and make new memories in the process.
“Remember the times in your youth when you chased your crush around the outdoor rink? Get out there and revive those memories. Perhaps bring the family to watch you having fun and exercising at the same time. The ice is perfect and could be gone so fast. Weather changes quickly but memories last forever.”
For more information about the Outdoor Rink, please contact Ian Fortune at 843-2220 and visit their Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/406853629399169/.