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On The Rink

03/19/2013 02:42PM, Published by Anonymous, Categories: In Print, Life+Leisure



story: Gary VanDeWalker

SISKIYOU ICE RINK IN MOUNT SHASTA

Against the backdrop of snow, a child’s laughter glides over the ice as the early winter sun fades over the Siskiyou Ice Rink in Mount Shasta. During cold months, childhood memories and family traditions form while warm hands clasp and feet learn to balance over the white surface.

The idea of the rink crystallized first in 1996, opening to its first season in 2000. Nine years later, the frozen floor hosts public skating and robust hockey leagues for adults and youth. Ice skating is a seasonal event for school groups, local organizations and those fortunate enough to have birthdays in the months when the ice is available for their celebrations. Mount Shasta Park and Recreation Director Mike Rodriguez says, “The Rink has brought a whole new dimension to the area, bringing people from the North State together to enjoy a unique winter sport.”

Often, the clash of hockey sticks and the cheer of rivals fill the location at Shastice Park as youth and adults challenge each other in the hockey leagues sponsored at the site. Meeting the dimensions required for league play by the National Hockey League, players from all over Northern California participate in the fast-moving sport, driving from various communities to get a chance to see the puck caress the goals’ nets, located only a few minutes off of Interstate 5.

Siskiyou Ice Rink is a labor of love for this community. The citizens of Mount Shasta raised an initial $200,000 toward purchasing the necessary equipment, and continue to raise funds to make additional improvements such as a concrete surface under the ice which will allow the facility to host weddings, concerts, graduations, plays and in-line skating in the warmer months. The current effort is “Raise the Roof” to provide a new pavilion design for extra activities and to shield the ice from the sun in order to extend the ice skating season. A two-year time line is projected to complete this phase, which will turn the rink into a year-round facility.

“The Rink is a grassroots project,” Rodriguez says. “We continue to operate at 2007 prices in order to make skating available to those who have faithfully supported us.” The city has hosted dances, sold afghan throws and held yard sales, while children collected donations in Halloween tins to make the icy activity a reality. Season passes are now on sale, with Family passes and Senior passes providing great bargains.

First-time and beginner skaters are offered free lessons on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings by Rink Manager and Lesson Instructor Dottie Martin. The Rink offers extended holiday hours during Thanksgiving, Christmas break and the January/February holiday weekends.

Rodriguez says, “We are looking forward to a great season, because ice skating is no longer a dream in Mount Shasta. We’re doing it.” • For hours, prices and pass information contact: Mount Shasta Recreation Office (530) 926-2494 msrec@sbcglobal.net

For adult and youth hockey contact: Art Horvath, (530) 926-1772

For groups and events, contact: Katie Ostrowski, (530) 859-3614



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