GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After being closed last winter, crews are working to ready the ice rink at Rosa Parks Circle for skaters — though weather conditions have disrupted Friday’s planned opening.
The city will reassess the situation Monday, it said in a Wednesday afternoon Facebook post.
During the 2020 season, the ice rink had limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. During the 2021 season, Rosa Parks Circle was under construction. Ice skating was moved to the Van Andel Arena.
“This is such an important part of the city. People look forward to skating on the ice rink here at Rosa Parks,” Steve Krogman, Grand Rapids parks and operations maintenance supervisor, told News 8 Wednesday morning. “To have this open again, there is a lot of excitement for that.”
City crews had spent the previous three days working to set the rink, but the rink was not frozen enough Wednesday afternoon to allow skaters or a Zamboni.
“Having a fire hose and turning on the water. Not so much flooding it; it’s kind of letting it spray into light layers and letting it freeze,” Krogman explained.
Underneath the rink are 34,000 feet of piping where glycol circulates. Glycol allows for the rink to stay frozen and thick all winter long.
Weather can play a role in ice consistency, as well.
“The sun is not our friend,” Krogman said.
Unfortunately for skaters, sunshine, temperatures above freezing and rain are all in the forecast. As a result, Friday’s opening was postponed.
“Unfortunately, recent weather has made ice making difficult for our team,” the Facebook post read. “We tried our best to work through warm temperatures and sunshine, but weren’t able to get the ice to skating quality for our initial opening date of November 25.”
Once the season gets underway, the ice rink will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. through Feb. 26. Visitors can walk up or make reservations as much as two weeks early. Admission is $2 for children 17 and younger and $4 for adults ages 18 and older. Skates are included.