Kent opens downtown ice rink

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Lauren Winarksi and her daughter Charlie, of Uniontown, join others on the new Kent Skates ice rink Saturday morning.

Kent residents, Kent State University students and surrounding communities can now head to downtown Kent to go ice skating.

Several visitors enjoyed the new rink, Kent Skates, on Saturday, its first day open. 

The free outdoor space will remain open through Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

“The idea of an ice rink downtown to encourage visitors and business has been around for a number of years,” said Doug Pearson, associate vice president for facilities planning and operations at Kent State.

“Then, unfortunately, the pandemic came, so we had to put it off for a year. So this year we got everybody’s interest up, solicited a couple more partners and made it a reality.”

More:Kent postpones plans for community ice rink

Charlie Winarski, 6, grips the hand of her mom, Lauren Winarski, as they try out the new ice rink in downtown Kent.

Kent Skates was created through a partnership among the city of Kent, the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Kent and Kent State.

It’s sponsored by AMETEK, a manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices that’s located on Erie Street in Kent.

“AMETEK has been part of the Kent community for over 100 years,” said Matthew French, senior vice president and general manager. “Kent is not only where we work, it’s where many of us live, socialize and raise our families. A vibrant, diverse and growing community is vital for us all, and we are so excited about this inaugural season for Kent Skates, a place where the community will come together. 

“We hope to see it grow into a tradition for many Northeast Ohio families to enjoy for years to come.”

Skaters take to the ice on Saturday, opening day of Kent Skates. The rink is on East Erie Street in downtown Kent.

Use of the rink — which is located on East Erie Street between Route 59 (Haymaker Parkway) and South Depeyster Street — is free, including free skate rental. An official celebration of its opening at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2 will include free giveaways for those in attendance. 

Officials say the rink will add to the options downtown has to offer and hope it will connect students to community members in a fun, inclusive environment.



Read More:Kent opens downtown ice rink

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