Excitement built last week as kids witnessed city crews and the Wessington Springs Fire Department spray the final layers of water into the old swimming pool dugout in city park, making dreams of re-introducing the ice skating pond a reality for opening day last Saturday.
"It went better than expected! The ice was never empty of kids,” said Gwyneth Fastnacht, Wessington Springs resident who spearheaded the movement to reopen the ice skating pond. “At one time, there must have been 40 kids and parents on the ice with another 10-15 people hanging around the fire pit that Kathy and Jerry Voorhees set up and monitored. The sledding hill was packed too!”
The afternoon shone as an example of community collaboration from a wide variety of Wessington Springs residents: Fastnacht and her husband Pat moved picnic tables around the fire pit for kids to warm up by the fire and don their skates; Christy Miller monitored the top of the sledding hill and ran the rope; Loree Gaikowski stayed at the bottom and showed kids how to use the tow rope and stay on their sleds; Twila Whitehead brought a 30-cup pot of hot cocoa and a host of people brought cookies to share.
“Every kid was smiling ear to ear, helping each other, laughing and having a lot of fun,” Fastnacht said. “Kids went between the hill and the ice, stopping at the Field House for a warm-up. That is what it’s all about. Helping kids have fun and making memories!”
The winter activity zone in city park will open again for a day of skating and sledding fun on Saturday, February 16 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to: help run the tow rope on the sledding hill, bring hot chocolate, bring cookies, monitor skate check out and help kids find sizes in the Field House. Those interested in volunteering can contact Gwyneth Fastnacht, Jen Kolousek or Loree Gaikowski.