The Headwaters Park Outdoor Ice Skating Rink will open at 11 AM Saturday November 19, 2016, for its 14th season. Admission fees will remain the same as in the previous 13 seasons, thanks to corporate and foundation support.
The Lincoln Financial Group is again the corporate sponsor for the season, which lasts through Sunday March 5, 2017. “Thanks to Lincoln, and to the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, the Edward D. & Ione Auer Foundation and the PNC Trusts, skating rates have remained the same for 14 seasons,” said Geoff Paddock, Executive Director of the Headwaters Park Alliance. Prices are still $3 for children 13 and under and $5 for children 14 and over and adults. There is a $2 charge to rent skates, or patrons can bring their own skates. Every Wednesday, between December 7 and March 1, will be a free skate day for children 13 and under, thanks to grants from the above mentioned foundations.
The 14th season kicks off the Saturday before Thanksgiving in what has become an annual tradition. “Each year we have about 20,000 to 25,000 skaters and about as many spectators over our three month season. Last year’s skaters totaled just over 25,000, which was near our record, and there has been a cumulative total of nearly 285,000 since the rink opened in November 2003,” Paddock said.
The grants from the Lincoln Financial Group, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, the Auer Foundation, and the PNC Trusts, help pay for some of the expenses associated with operating the rink seven days a week for over three months, therefore helping to keep admission rates steady for the past 13 years.
The indoor concessions stand will again be operated by Mr. G’s at the Rink, offering soup, sandwiches, cold, and hot drinks. Hours of operation are: 1 PM to 8 PM Monday through Thursday; 12 NOON to 10 PM on Friday; 11 AM – 1O PM on Saturday; and NOON to 8 PM on Sunday. There will also be extended holiday hours. The rink is closed on Christmas Day.
Free parking is available in the Headwaters Park lot, with access from Clinton and Barr Streets. Season skating passes and single skating passes are available by calling Geoff Paddock at 425-5745. The direct line to the rink is 422-7625, beginning November 19.