Winkler's outdoor rinks are coming soon. Maintenance Foreman Terry Fehr explains with recent snowfall, staff is developing ice pads in time for the Christmas break.
This year, the city will be hosting a number of outdoor rinks, including ones at Emerado Centennial School, Gemstone Park, Lions Park and Scotia Park. Both Lions and Scotia have yard lights which will extend the hours of hockey.
City staff is also hoping to add a skating trail through the Winkler campground. While Fehr says they had originally considered the Harvest Festival grounds, the construction of the Meridian Exhibition Centre meant changing to the campground south of the Winkler Aquatic Centre. The community also lost the outdoor rink west of the arena because of the new Exhibition Centre.
He notes staff is also considering laying an ice surface on the ball diamonds and making use of the outdoor lights. So far, no plans have been made.
Fehr says the outdoor rinks see plenty of use, especially during the school break over Christmas.
"From past experience, as soon as school lets out by 4:00 p.m kids are utilizing the ice surfaces already," Fehr says, adding there are often people still skating when staff lock up the warming shack at 11:00 p.m
"They do get a lot of usage."