MASSENA — ‘Tis the season for free public skating at Massena Arena, courtesy of local businesses and organizations.
The free skating sessions start Wednesday and run until Jan. 3.
Wednesday’s sessions run from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. Both sessions are sponsored by Amvets Post 4. The Massena Elks Lodge is sponsoring two sessions on Thursday — from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m.
The arena is closed on Christmas Day, and public skating starts back up again on Dec. 26. Francis Carvel and family are sponsoring a session from 6 to 6:50 p.m. and Carrothers & Clough LLC is sponsoring a session that runs from 8 to 8:50 p.m.
There is no free public skating scheduled for Dec. 27, but it picks up again on Dec. 28 with sessions at 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. Both sessions are sponsored by Massena Savings & Loan.
Tarbell Management Group will sponsor two sessions on Dec. 29 — from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. Sessions from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. Dec. 30 are sponsored by Northside Community Church.
Carrothers & Clough LLC will sponsor two more sessions on Dec. 31 — from 10 to 10:50 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. The arena is closed for New Year’s Day.
The Hazelton Foundation will sponsor a session from 8 to 8:50 p.m. Jan. 2, and again from 7:30 to 8:20 p.m. Jan. 3.
Masks must be worn and a screening form completed to enter the arena. Recreation Director Michael McCabe said reservations are strongly recommended and can be accepted by private Facebook messaging or by calling the arena at 315-769-3161. The Facebook message is the preferred method, Mr. McCabe said.
Reservations are suggested because each public skating session is limited to 30 skaters on the ice at one time under COVID-19 guidelines. They will need to turn skaters away at the door when they reach capacity. Reservations are not accepted by completing the screening form, and they will allow one reservation per person each day. Skate rentals are available for $3.
The free holiday skating originally began when Phillips Memorial Home officials suggested the idea of offering free holiday skating over the Christmas and New Year’s period while students were on their break. Since then, a number of businesses and organizations have supported the program over the years.
The free ice time gives individuals — and even families — something to do during the holiday season. In some cases, out-of-towners who are visiting family or friends in the area take advantage of the opportunity.
For more information, visit the Recreation Department’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MassenaRecreationCommision/ or call 315-769-3161.