Stuart Park ice rink to open today

Sharpen up your skates, Kelowna's free outdoor ice rink in Stuart Park opens today.

City staff say the rink will open at  4 p.m. and if the weather co-operates, will remain open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily right through the winter.

“We’re happy to have the rink open as skating is a great outdoor activity for the whole family,” said recreation  and cultural services director Jim Gabriel.

“We were thrilled to see people making use of the rink last year and anticipate it will be a popular choice again this season.”

Martin Johansen, building services manger for the city, said a previous problem with a leaking underground ethylene glycol pipe has been fixed and while there are still some minor repairs to be be done, they will not delay the opening.

But he said depending on the angle of the sun each day, the rink may need to close for a few hours because of the impact on the surface of the ice. That, however, is not expected to be a major problem, he said.

The ice surface will be flooded at regular times each day by an ice resurfacing machine. If temperatures become too warm or the ice quality is affected by midday sunshine, the rink will be temporarily closed until conditions improve, said the city in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The rink now has speakers set up around it for music and and is periodically monitored by security contractors. Signs posted around the rink explain the regulations for rink users, such as no hockey games.


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