Updated: December 30, 2020 10:42 PM
Created: December 29, 2020 07:11 PM
Tucked away at Piedmont Park lie three smooth sheets of ice. At least, they start out that way each morning. By the afternoon they're well worn by hockey players and pleasure skaters.
"It's nice because we get to skate around and we get to get rid of our energy," said Duluth hockey player Nic Burke.
From Mighty mites to college students to adults all skate across the rinks by day, but the fun doesn't have to stop at sundown.
Lights illuminate two of the resurfaced rinks at Piedmont so community members can have fun until about eight o'clock, when resurfacing starts every night.
The rinks are revived thanks to about 50 families of volunteers with the Piedmont Hockey Association (PHA).
"We clean the ice, we either run our own Zamboni, but also one of the big jobs is flooding, putting the water down," said Keith Severson, the Piedmont facility director.
"It's not easy work, it can be grueling," said Brett Omundson, PHA board vice president. "But at the same time, again, when you're all done and you take a look at that ice and it's nice and flat and pretty and ready for the kids the next day. It's pretty awesome."
Typically groups of ten will resurface the ice Sunday through Thursday. With so much use they're running crews seven days a week.
"We take a big sense of pride in being able to provide this for the community. Right now I mean it's all about the kids," Omundson said.
The kids appreciate it. Burke wanted to tell the volunteers, "just keep up the good work and we'll keep coming."
As long as old man winter sticks around, the rinks will be kept up until they melt.
So grab some skates, a helmet, and head up to Piedmont.
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