Janesville74.6°

Ice-skating at Traxler Park holds appeals for all

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Ted Sullivan
January 16, 2011
— Itís a way for parents to bond with their children.

Itís a romantic date for a couple who want to hold hands, laugh and feel like kids again.


Itís a reason for kids to bundle up in winter clothes, try something new and ask mommy for hot chocolate when theyíre done.


Itís an excuse to wipeout, slide into a snow bank or bruise your bum.


Ice-skating at Traxler Park is much more than a winter sport. Itís an afternoon with family, a love story and that feeling that we arenít so grown up.


Itís a time when itís OK to look ridiculous. And itís a reminder of what we love about Wisconsin.


Traxler Park was buzzing with dozens of adults and children Saturday afternoon, thanks in large part to a new flooding system that has preserved the ice and made for a longer skating season.


Fathers and sons were playing hockey. Moms and daughters were figure skating.


Couples were skating together.


Teen boys were chasing around teen girls. Parents were tugging their little ones along in sleds.


Inside the warming house, people sat near the wood fire. Others warmed up with hot cocoa.


ďItís fun to come here with your friends and your parents,Ē 11-year-old Mac Ryan said. ďItís great bonding time.Ē


The new flooding system was installed this winter. The city dug a depression and placed pipes to flood the area. Ice forms naturally on top of the water, which creates a more stable ice sheet. Crews used to spray water through hoses to create the ice.


The system has made the ice more reliable, boosting the number of visitors to the rink, said Craig Groninger, who was volunteering in the concession stand.


ďPeople know itís more likely to be open,Ē Groninger said. ďBefore, you just didnít know.Ē


Hagen Harker and his son, William, said they skate at the rink regularly. They said they meet new people at the rink and enjoy being outdoors.


They said they have noticed the improvement in the ice from previous years.


Tobin Ryan and his son, Mac, said theyíre making more trips to the ice rink compared to previous years. They said they have noticed more skaters, too.


ďItís great,Ē Tobin said.


IF YOU GO


Skating at Traxler Park is free. Skates also are available at no cost.


Hours are from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.


During open hours, the restrooms, concession stand and ice skates are available.


For questions, call Janesville Leisure Services at (608) 755-3030.



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