Kelowna's popular outdoor ice rink finally opens next week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's popular outdoor ice rink finally opens next week

FILE PHOTO - Enjoying some outdoor time at the Stuart Park ice rink.
January 08, 2021 - 11:50 AM

Kelowna's popular outdoor skating rink is opening next week but new social distancing measures will be in place and residents will have to book ahead if they want to spend time on the rink.

The rink opens on Monday, Jan. 11, with enhanced safety measures and a new pre-booking system in place through the City's website here.

“In consultation with public health officials around outdoor public skating at Stuart Park, we have the go-ahead to operate at a restricted level until further notice, which means skaters will need to pre-book their skating time before heading down to the rink,” said Doug Nicholas, sport and event services manager, in a City of Kelowna press release.

Along with the pre-booking system, which allows for a 60-minute window of skate time, additional safety measures will be in place at the Stuart Park skating rink:

• The rink will be staffed to ensure access is by pre-booking only (no drop ins).
• There will be a maximum capacity of 40 skaters on the rink at any given time.
• Fencing will be set up around the rink along with designated entrance and exit points.
• Seating to put on skates will be distanced with one family or skater per bench.
• Rink maintenance and cleaning will occur daily and as required between booking times.
• Food and rental services will not be available at this time.
• Wearing masks or face coverings are recommended.

The rink typically opens Dec. 1 each year but was delayed as more information and guidance from health authorities was needed around public skating to ensure the rink could operate safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health orders.

In addition to their own skates, anyone heading down to the rink is encouraged to bring safety gear such as helmets, hand sanitizer and masks.   

“Providing safe, active opportunities is important right now and we’re pleased to be able to open the rink, even within this restricted capacity,” Nicholas said. “Though it is an outdoor venue and not mandated by the current provincial order, we still recommend wearing a mask or face covering as an added level of safety. It’s important to remember when heading down to the rink to respect other skaters and maintain plenty of space both on and off the rink.”

The Stuart Park outdoor rink will officially open at 11 a.m., Jan. 11, weather permitting with online bookings open for sign up now. The rink will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., subject to weather conditions and additional direction from the provincial health officer.  

Indoor skating is also available by pre-booking for public skate times at Capital News Centre, Memorial Arena and Rutland Arena in Kelowna.

To pre-book a skate time at Stuart Park rink, visit the City's website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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