The Headwaters Park Outdoor Ice Skating Rink will open on Friday, November 19, for its eighth season with a skating show performed by the Fort Wayne Ice Skating Club. The show will be performed at 7 PM. The rink will open to the public after the 7:00 show.
The Lincoln Financial Group is again the corporate sponsor for the season, which lasts through Sunday, February 27, 2011. Thanks to Lincoln, and to the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, and the Edward D. & Ione Auer Foundation, skating rates have remained the same for seven seasons. Prices are still $3 for children 13 and under and $5 for children 14 and over and adults. There is a $2 charge to rent skates, or patrons can bring their own skates. Every Wednesday, between December 1 and February 23, will be a free skate day for children 13 and under, thanks to a grant from the Lupke and Auer Foundations.
“The Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink remains inexpensive entertainment for children and families. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the only outdoor rink within 50 miles of Fort Wayne, and to get exercise during the winter months,” said Geoff Paddock, Executive Director of the Headwaters Park Alliance.
“The Alliance takes great pride in managing Headwaters Park and in providing the ice rink. Each year we have about 25,000 skaters and about as many spectators over our three month season,” Paddock said. Last year’s skating attendance of 25,246 shattered a previous season record.
The grants from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and the Auer Foundation, pay for the expenses associated with the opening day ice skating shows. Those grants also help to underwrite the costs associated with operating the rink, therefore helping to keep admissions rates steady for the past six years.
Federated Media is providing in-kind advertising on its four radio stations throughout the season. The indoor concessions stand will again be operated by Mr. G’s at the Rink, offering soup, sandwiches, cold, and hot drinks. Hours of operation are: 1 PM to 8 PM Monday through Thursday; 12 NOON to 10 PM on Friday; 11 AM – 1O PM on Saturday; and 11 AM to 8 PM on Sunday. There will also be extended holiday hours. The rink is closed on Christmas Day.
Free parking is available in the Headwaters Park lot, with access from Clinton and Barr Streets. Season skating passes, single skating passes, and ice skating lesson information is available by calling Geoff Paddock at 425-5745.
Geoff Paddock has served as the Executive Director of both the Commission and Alliance for 18 years.
The Headwaters Park Alliance has a contract to manage, maintain, and make improvements to Headwaters Park through December 31, 2012. Previous to the Alliance, the Headwaters Park Commission worked with the City of Fort Wayne to design and fund construction of the 30-acre downtown flood control project that includes a park, festival center, and ice rink. Both the Alliance and the Commission have raised over 15 million in private dollars over the past two decades. There are 40 events held in the park during the year. The Alliance opened the outdoor ice skating rink (the only one of its kind in a 100 mile radius) in November 2003.