Minneapolis outdoor ice rinks officially open for latest season reportedly in decades
For the first time this winter season, all Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board outdoor ice rinks were open on Saturday.
“Oh gosh, what a relief it is to finally go out and feel that cool air in your lungs and run up and down the ice. It’s a lot of fun,” said Robert Roedl, as he finished a game of broomball at Van Cleve Park. “It’s a pick-up game we do every Saturday morning no matter what the weather is, 17 below or 25 above.”
On the second rink, University of Minnesota students were playing hockey for the first time.
“It’s good to be back,” said Dylan Roush.
The sun shone down, mirroring the excitement on the ice across the park for the long-awaited day.
Even one of the newest Minnesotans, Wesley Griffin who recently moved to the Twin Cities from southern California was drawn to the rink.
“I wanted to try out skating for the first time,” he explained. “You know, it kinda hurts to fall, but it’s a lot of fun getting out there and just sliding around.”
Typically, rinks open on the third or fourth week of December, said Larry Umphrey with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.
“I’ve been working with the Minneapolis Park Board since 1999, and this is as late as I can remember us opening our rinks,” he said.
But with temperatures forecasted to rise already next week, the question is, how long will it last?
“I think at this minute, we’ll just take it day by day,” Umphrey responded. “We’re hoping that we have a good enough base built up that if we do get a couple of days in the 30s, even the 40s, that we’ll be able to withstand that and rebound.”
Umphrey also shared a reminder that just because all of the rinks are open, doesn’t mean lakes are safe to venture onto.
“There’s moving water, different depths all over the lake,” he added. “So even though it’s been very cold, it hasn’t been very cold very long. So please be careful if you’re out in the lakes.”
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board typically closes outdoor ice rinks for the season around President’s Day weekend in late February.
Click here for a full list of rinks and locations.