Ice almost ready for skaters in La Grange
Updated: January 7, 2013 3:49PM
LA GRANGE — Skaters are itching to lace up and glide over two rinks at Gilbert Park once the ice is fully frozen.
Mild temperatures last winter precluded flooding rinks in the park along Gilbert Avenue, south of 41st Street, which borders Western Springs.
Skaters are especially anxious to see the green flag indicating the ice is ready, said Dan Laczynski, who coordinates the Pond Posse, a cadre of ice rink volunteers.
“We’re going for it this year,” Laczynski said. “We never did open last year. It was just too warm.”
The Park District of La Grange flooded the larger eastern rink about a week ago, which will be designated for open skating for families. A smaller rink to the west was flooded Wednesday and will be reserved for hockey games.
“Having two rinks this year is exponentially greater for everyone,” Laczynski said. “There a big space for free skating where you don’t have to worry about pucks and sticks from hockey players. It’s just an absolute win-win.”
The eastern rink was expected to be ready later on Thursday or possibly Friday, Laczynski said.
About 50 volunteers are lined up in four teams to take turns maintaining the ice, often after 8:30 p.m. or early in the morning. Parents from the Oglala Sioux Indian Guides tribe and the Miami Indian Princesses tribe have been helping out for a number of years, he said.
“When we first opened years ago, we had hundreds of kids out on a 25-degree day with blue skies,” Laczynski recalled. “We’re hoping this will be a banner year. Just pray for cold weather.”