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Downtown ice rink opens in Grand Forks

Holiday music filled the Town Square in Grand Forks Friday evening for the grand opening of the downtown skating rink. It was a little dark outside, so the holiday lights around the Town Square glowed as a small group of Grand Forks Downtown Deve...

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Skaters take to the ice as the skating rink in Town Square in downtown Grand Forks opens Friday afternoon. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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Holiday music filled the Town Square in Grand Forks Friday evening for the grand opening of the downtown skating rink.

It was a little dark outside, so the holiday lights around the Town Square glowed as a small group of Grand Forks Downtown Development Association members and other community members skated on the rink for the first time.

While the DDA spearheaded the skating rink project, Executive Director Stacey Majkrzak said it couldn't have been done without several sponsors.

The rink is part of the DDA's goals to get more families downtown and to give people something to do in the winter, Majkrzak said.

"Our hope is that the community wants to spend some time downtown and enjoy the atmosphere," she said.

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The Town Square is already used frequently in the summer for the weekly farmer's market, Grand Cities Arts Fest and Blues on the Red concerts. Now, the space can be used in the winter, too, Majkrzak said.

DDA member Matt Norby skated with his 8-year-old nephew Grant Gardner at the ice rink's grand opening Friday.

Gardner excitedly said he liked skating on the rink because it's outside.

There is no admission fee for the skating rink, but there will be a box for free will donations.

The rink, which holds a maximum of 63 skaters, will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Majkrzak said the DDA hopes to have holiday music playing as often as possible at the ice rink.

The DDA also plans to host "Ice Rink Weekends," with food vendors on Saturdays, according to its website. At the grand opening, Cabela's offered hand-warmers and Dakota Harvest Bakers offered hot chocolate.

Other outdoor ice rinks in Grand Forks have also opened for the season.

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The Ben Franklin, Cox, Elks, Exchange Club/Lake Agassiz, Jaycees, Kelly, Optimist, Riverside and University rinks are open, according to a Grand Forks Park District news release.

Hours are 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Lincoln Drive Park ice rink is closed due to lack of snow.

Downtown ice rink hours:

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays

9 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends

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Ryan Schlesinger gets a push from Jake Pawlik during a break from work in downtown Grand Forks Friday at the newly opened skating rink in Town Square. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

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