MASSENA — A holiday tradition returns to the Massena Arena starting on Thursday.
Two weeks of free public skating sessions will be offered thanks to local sponsors who have paid for the ice time.
The first session will be held from 1 to 2:50 p.m. Thursday. That’s sponsored by the Massena Rotary Club. Pease & Gustafson LLC is sponsoring the second session, which runs from 2 to 3:50 p.m. Friday.
No public skating will be offered on Saturday, Christmas Day, but it resumes from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. That’s sponsored by the Hazelton Foundation.
In addition to Sunday’s public skating, Rock N Skate will also be offered from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m. that day. Admission is $5, and skate rentals are available for $5.
The Open Net will sponsor two sessions next week — from 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Amvets Post 4 is also sponsoring two skating sessions, which are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Wednesday and on Dec. 30. The Dec. 31 session, which also runs from 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., is sponsored by Bears Den/Tim Horton’s.
No skating will be held on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, but resumes from 10:45 to 11:35 a.m. Jan. 2. The sponsor is the Hazelton Foundation.
Unlike last year when each session was limited to 30 skaters on the ice at one time under COVID-19 guidelines, Recreation Director Michael McCabe said there are no restrictions on the number this year. However, everyone must wear masks while inside the building.
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 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.
“A big thank you goes out to all our holiday sponsors for offering free public skating to our community. Please support our local businesses and charitable groups,” Mr. McCabe said.
For more information, visit the Massena Recreation Department’s Facebook page or call 315-769-3161.