Attendance at Headwaters Park ice rink breaks season record

March 4, 2019

The Headwaters Park ice rink bustled with skaters Sunday afternoon as the Satter family accepted a basket of goodies : including candy, cocoa and a movie theater gift card : just for walking through the door.

Of the family of five, mother Laurie Satter was the rink’s 32,000th visitor this record-breaking season, said Geoff Paddock, executive director of the Headwaters Park Alliance.

“This is a momentous day for Headwaters Park,” said Paddock, who formally recognized the Fort Wayne family in an off-the-ice presentation under the Lincoln Financial Pavilion.

For its 16th season, the outdoor rink welcomed more skaters than ever before. Attendance surpassed the previous season high by a few thousand, Paddock said on its last open day.

The venue has welcomed more than 370,000 skaters since opening in November 2003, he added.

“This is a wonderful tradition in Fort Wayne,” Paddock said.

Laurie Satter, who wore her own white skates decorated with handmade pompoms, visited the rink Sunday with her husband, Lucas, and children, Henry, 12; Clara, 10; and Arthur, 7.

The family didn’t skate at the rink much this season, they said.

“We’ll go a lot more next time,” Lucas Satter said, referencing passes included in their prize package.

Other skaters Sunday included the Neuhauser family : parents Sarah and Mike and sons Matthew, 3, and Jacob, 7.

“This is our first time this season,” Sarah Neuhauser said as her husband helped the toddler lace up his skates in the heated bunkhouse.

The ice rink traditionally closes on the first Sunday in March so Headwaters Park can begin preparing for the festival season. The “laborious dismantling” process takes about four to six weeks, Paddock said.

With spring weeks away, he added, “folks are ready to do something else” come March.

The first spring event scheduled for the Lincoln Pavilion is the Michiana Wine Festival on April 27.

The rink will reopen Nov. 16.