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Public ice skating season is underway throughout county

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CANTON - Temperatures are hovering near the freezing mark and that means the public skating season has returned to local arenas.

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

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

Mr. Olmstead said that since September, the number of people using the rink during public skating has increased, 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, Emilly C., took advantage of Canton’s public skating Monday afternoon.

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. Thursdays 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 Recreation Superintendent 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 local businesses sponsor several hours of public skating at the rink.

Public ice skating is also available at the Tri-Town Community Center in Brasher Falls, the Dominic Zappia Community Center in Norfolk and the Louisville Arena.

The St. Lawrence Centre Arena, Massena, offers public skating hours year round.

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