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December 3, 2018

Synthetic ice rink opens at Northern Fauquier Park

Photos/Lawrence Emerson
Eelan Sowers, 6, of Warrenton, on Saturday takes the first skate on the new rink at the Northern Fauquier Community Park with his grandmother Holly Geary, who will teach skating lessons there.
The rink will operate until March, with 30-minutes sessions costing $5, including skates.
The next Alex Ovechkin or Michelle Kwan might get started on the new rink at the Northern Fauquier Community Park near Marshall.

More likely, skaters will burn some calories and have some fun there.

The county parks and recreation department Saturday cut the ribbon to open its 28-by-56-foot synthetic “ice” skating rink tucked inside a large picnic pavilion.

The rink will operate during park hours — dawn to dusk — until March. A 30-minute session costs $5, including skate rentals. Users also may bring their own skates.

“We’d seen them elsewhere and thought it would be a good way to add an activity and get more people outdoors,” county parks and recreation Director Larry Miller said Saturday morning.

An ice skating rink also showed up in the department’s 2017 needs assessment, which “surprised us,” Mr. Miller said. “But, people want more choices, such as the disc golf course” that recently opened at the Southern Fauquier Community Park near Remington.

> Needs assessment below story

The rink, skates and a small concession trailer cost about $40,000, according to Mr. Miller. The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation provided a $24,000 grant for it.

Skaters move a bit more slowly on the synthetic surface than on ice. At season’s end, the surface will come up in sections for storage.

The park had a small ice rink the past couple of winters, but it depended upon prolonged freezing weather, uncommon in recent years.



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