MASSENA — St. Lawrence Centre mall officials are putting an empty storefront to good use, providing an opportunity for exercise and fun this weekend.

Roller skating and rollerblading sessions started Thursday and continue from noon to 4 p.m. through Sunday at the former TJ Maxx store. Hoverboards are also allowed.

The cost is $5 per person per day, and participants must bring their own roller skates, rollerblades or hoverboard, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do here. It just never came to fruition. We’re going to give it a shot, try it and see what the response is,” mall Manager Erica Leonard said.

It has started out promising, she said. Comments left on the mall’s Facebook page announcing the sessions have been favorable.

“We had great feedback. Everyone is asking if this is going to be a permanent thing here. We’ll see how it goes throughout the weekend. It’s kind of a get out of the house deal,” Ms. Leonard said.

She said 20 individuals, a combination of roller skaters and rollerbladers, took advantage of Thursday’s session,

Fencing guides the participants around the store area as the regular lights are turned off, disco lighting is turned on and music is playing.

“I want it to be so popular that I can build an old-style roller rink and make it a place to go,” Ms. Leonard said.

In addition to the roller skating, a privately owned mini-putt golf course and bounce houses are available at other mall locations. And, although it’s not yet open again, booking to use the artificial turf field at the arena is booming.

“We’ve been booked for soccer, lacrosse, flag football. I’m booked every night at the arena until April. People are very excited to get in there,” she said.

In addition, the mall’s All American Pub Sports Bar and Eatery is open for business across from the arena. It opened over the Super Bowl weekend and offers a full food menu that includes burgers, wings, sliders, nachos, hot dogs and more for either dining or take-out, as well as a bar.

It’s open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Other dining options include Anita Burrito, which serves Mexican food, and Mickey’s Place, which serves sandwiches, salads, fair food and baked goods.

Looking ahead, Ms. Leonard said they’re planning an indoor garage sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6. The cost for a 10- by 10-foot space is $10.

“I’ve had a lot of response. I’m very excited. Right now, just as I put it out the other day 14 people have signed up for spots. I do believe it’s going to be pretty big,” she said. “I will be having a vendor show at the end of March. I’m trying to do one thing per month to see how it goes with COVID and if we’re able to do it safely.”

Anyone who’s interested in participating in the garage sale can send a private message on the mall’s Facebook page, call 315-764-1001 or email

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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