Lacombians now have their own version of Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center skating rink in the midst of Lest We Forget Park.
Outside the Lacombe Memorial Centre is now a rink offering residents the opportunity to skate underneath the park’s twinkling Christmas lights in the heart of the city’s historic downtown.
“It feels like it’s something that’s uniquely Lacombe. We have Light Up (the Night) and this is a way to bridge the gap between Light Up and Christmas,” said Community Economic Development Manager Guy Lapointe. “There’s nothing more Lacombe than this lights display and adding a skating rink is just another way to continue the enjoyment of this area.”
Putting a rink in the park has been talked about for a number of years, but it has now finally become a reality with the rink replacing the one at Les Walker Park as one the City of Lacombe takes care of, in addition to the outdoor rink at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, Cranna Lake, and the one by Royal Oak.
While Les Walker was a good location for a rink, Lapointe says it was underutilized and the decision to focus their efforts on one downtown was made.
“It just made sense resource-wise to find something that was a little more central,” he said. “You think about these lights, the courtyard and the pride people have in this area and it’s a great fit for the community to offer this pond here.”
Friday evening, the city christened the rink with a skating party complete with hot chocolate, cookies, and some Christmas tunes playing on the speakers outside the LMC. Despite cooler temperatures, a number of skaters turned out to try the rink out, and Lapointe says early feedback has been “very positive.”
While the ice is available around the clock, lights turn on about 4:30 p.m. daily and remain on until midnight, offering skaters plenty of time to go for a skate under the lights.
Should interest in the rink remain, it may be expanded in the future, and when the festive lights are turned off, the white ones may remain to provide similar ambiance long after the Christmas season has come to an end.
Light up the Night Fireworks
Lacombe residents can skate under different lights this Friday, Dec. 20th.
The annual Light Up the Night Fireworks will be set off over Cranna Lake at 8 p.m.
“If you have not seen the spectacular fireworks display against this beautiful wintry backdrop, it is really is an awesome sight,” said Lapointe in a release on the city’s website. “So please gather your family and friends, dress warm and come enjoy the show. We will have our fire pits on hand to keep everyone toasty.”
The Cranna Lake pathway from MEGlobal Athletic Park to the trail running adjacent City Hall, as per norm during fireworks displays, will be closed from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. in order for prep work to be done for the fireworks show.