Thanks to a blustery blast of arctic air this week, the flooded roller hockey rink at Stotzky Park turned into a vast light blue field of smooth and glistening ice.
The temporary ice skating rink opened for the first time Thursday afternoon after more than a year of waiting.
Recreation Department director Ray Coyne and town board members gathered at the edge of the rink this afternoon for the opening. Councilman George Gabrielsen’s wife Janice and 27-year-old daughter Georgia were the first skaters to try out the new rink.
“This is going to be the ‘George Gabrielsen Family Skating Rink,’ ” said councilman John Dunleavy.
Mrs. Gabrielsen said she’s waited 30 years for the rink.
“I’m in my glory,” she said as she slowly and cautiously maneuvered around the ice. “I just got my skates sharpened. It’s good but I just have to get used to this.”
Georgia Gabrielsen said it was only her second time on ice this year. She skated in Greenport earlier this month.
The town brought the plastic liner and PVC piping needed to convert the roller skating rink into an ice rink last year, but it never got cold enough to make ice, so the rink was never used for ice skating.
It’s free to skate, but ice skates are not provided, Mr. Coyne said.
The rink will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until the temperature rises above 32 degrees, he said.
Mr. Coyne said that they have received many phone calls about the skating rink and predicted a large turnout over the weekend.