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Ice rink looking at its ‘best season’

December 29, 2018

The Headwaters Park ice rink was filled with skaters Friday looking to enjoy a Fort Wayne winter tradition and helping to drive attendance that may set a record. 

About 140 to 180 people walked through the gates each hour, said Mike Holley, who works at the rink. 

“It’s the best season we’ve ever had,” he said.  

The rink at Headwaters Park is on pace to reach a new milestone in its 16-season history, Headwaters Park Director Geoff Paddock said Friday. Before the end of the season early next year, 350,000 skaters will have used the rink, Paddock said.

“We’ve got kids coming here now that have their own kids, and they started when they were little,” Holley said. “It’s been here long enough that it’s really gotten into the Fort Wayne network. Our draw is a 100-mile radius.” 

So far this year, about 16,000 skaters have taken part in the park’s winter tradition. The rink will likely exceed 27,000 skaters by the end of the 2018-19 season, Paddock said. 

“On Thursday, I believe we had 1,400, which was the second largest day we’ve had in the history of the rink,” he said. “It looks like the weather is going to cooperate. This is really good skating weather.” 

Temperatures in the 40s and 50s have not deterred skaters, Paddock said, nor has the weather made it difficult to maintain the ice. That doesn’t happen, Paddock said, until temperatures reach the 60s. 

For Huntington resident Candice Kaylor and her granddaughter Kendall Scheiber, the rink meant a chance to get out and enjoy the mild winter weather. 

“We thought this would be something fun to do on a day like today,” Kaylor said, noting the weather Friday was perfect for skating. “I think this is wonderful for Fort Wayne.” 

dgong@jg.net

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