Skating By: ‘Ice’ rink brings winter fun to Brownsville
The weather outside was balmy as skaters took to the “ice” rink at Brownsville Sports Park when it opened Friday morning.
Ray Arellano, park superintendent, said the goal of hosting the rink for the weekend is to give locals a wintertime experience they may not otherwise have in Brownsville.
“I’ve been up since 4:30 because I was just kind of excited about how all this will work,” he said. “The response has been good. You can hear the kids laughing. The sun’s out in Brownsville, and who would have thought those kids were going … to ice skate today?”
About 40 people were in line at the rink when it opened at 11 a.m. The synthetic ice rink assembled on the basketball courts was made of smaller pieces joined together like a neat puzzle. Some children wobbled on their skates as they clung to the railing while others confidently stomped across the rink.
“You can do everything you can do on ice,” Arellano said.
Arellano said some common questions he’s fielded are whether the rink has real ice, whether people can bring their own skates and what age children have to be to participate. The rink has a synthetic surface, outside skates are allowed and can be inspected on-site, and children can participate as long as they fit into a pair of skates, he said. The rink offers sizes youth 8, which fits children around 5 years old, to adult 13.
Flor Delgado and her family visited the rink from Los Fresnos. While past ice skating experience tells her it was harder to glide on the synthetic rink than on real ice, she said the children in her group had fun.
“I think it’s a good experience, especially for kids that have never been in an ice rink before,” she said. “It’s not as slippery, but it’s almost the same effect.”
Delgado said she hopes the interest generated by the temporary rink demonstrates there’s demand for an indoor ice rink in the Brownsville area.
“I think you need to come and try it,” she said. “Especially if you’ve never done it before, this is the best way to start.”
Jennifer Aguilar attended with her 8-year-old daughter, 3-year-old niece and mother.
“They got excited when they hear ‘ice skating,’” she said of the children. “It’s something new. They’re on vacation, and it’s nice for them to have something to look forward to.”
The rink will be open noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission will be $10 per hour for all ages, and people with special needs may take a helper into the rink. Brownsville Sports Park is located at 1000 Sports Park Blvd.
For more information, call (956) 574-6650 or message the Brownsville Sports Park at facebook.com/BrownsvilleSportsPark.