WILMINGTON — Wilmington residents may want to get their ice skates re-laced and blades sharpened, because an outdoor skating rink will be in town this December for public use.
After multiple requests from town residents for a public skating rink, the Board of Selectmen have responded with a seasonal, removable rink that will be located in Rotary Park off of Church Street. The 52 foot by 100 foot rink will be free and open to the public for the winter months starting in December.
Wilmington does currently have the Ristuccia Memorial Arena, located at 190 Main St., which is an indoor ice rink, but they cater mostly to hockey team practices and large group rentals. They have a very limited open skate schedule for the general public to enjoy.
The cost for the removable rink package, installation of the rink, as well as outdoor lights and two benches will total approximately $6,000. The impermeable liner for the rink that will need to be replaced each year will cost approximately $1,000. The purchase, installation and upkeep of the rink will be funded through the Recreation Department.
The rink will be disassembled and stored at the DPW during the off season, and there is no anticipated damage to the park area or grass from the rink.
Other communities have had success with public outdoor skating rinks. Last winter the Town of Haverhill has a similar removable rink at Riverside Park. The City of Lowell had a temporary ice rink set up on JFK Plaza during last year’s Winterfest celebration. The North Shore’s outdoor mall, MarketStreet Lynnfield, located at 600 Market St. in Lynnfield, has had an outdoor skating rink for the past five years. The rink at Marketplace Lynnfield is open to the public, but there is an admission price and skate rental fee. The rink in Wilmington will have no admission charge, but there will be no skate rental available.
The Wilmington rink at Rotary Park will be located across the street from the Public Safety Building and plenty of free parking, ensuring a family fun atmosphere for the town residents to enjoy all winter.