Seen Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 3, is the ice skating rink at Kineowatha Park in Wilton. Warm temperatures have delayed its opening, but if Mother Nature cooperates, it will open Saturday, Jan. 6. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

REGION — Weather conditions over the last few weeks are having an impact on area ice skating rinks, with two opening later than usual and another not sure if it will be able to open at all this year.

The ice skating rink at Kineowatha Park in Wilton will be opening at noon Saturday if Mother Nature cooperates, Frank Donald, director of Wilton Recreation Department, told The Franklin Journal on Wednesday morning.

“We just got done flooding for an hour this morning, the firetrucks are coming again tonight,” he said.

A post on the Wilton Recreation Department Facebook page thanked Fire Chief Sonny Dunham and Assistant Chief Kyle Ellis with Wilton Fire and Rescue Department for “putting a couple of truck loads of water on the rink in hopes that the weather will cooperate and we will be able to open soon.”

“The warming shack will be open weekdays 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m.,” Donald said. “The lights will be kept on until 8 p.m. daily, even when the warming shack is not open.”

Some skates are available to use when the warming shack is open. Milk crates and other skating aids are on hand then to help beginning skaters stay on their feet.


“This is the latest we have ever opened,” Donald added.

In Farmington, the ice rink at Hippach Field was impacted by the December rain and wind storm. Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Foster told The Franklin Journal Wednesday that the new liner, which was donated by Walmart in 2022 was lost during the flooding.

“Unfortunately, we lost the good one,” he said. “We do have an old one but it has a lot of holes in it. We are going to see if we can patch it.”

Foster said the goal is to have the rink open this year, but he is not 100% confident of that right now.

“There is no power to the maintenance building where we have the water supply and run the heating tapes in the winter,” Foster noted. “There are no lights right now. We may not be able to have the warming hut open.”

Various contractors will be looking at the damages, he said.


“It’s kind of fluid right now,” Foster added.

At Mt. Blue State Park in Weld, wind from the December storm caused damage at the ice rink at the headquarters on Center Hill.

“The wind was powerful, blew off the siding of the ice rink,” Director Casey Smedberg told The Franklin Journal later Wednesday. “It flipped the large boards we have around the edge of the rink into the rink. The ice was not frozen at that point.”

As a result, water leaked in between the layers, causing bubbles to form, she noted. There was no tree damage and after being without power for two days, when power came back the rink’s lights were restored, Smedberg said.

“We need to resurface the rink,” she said. “The fire department helps with that. Those guys are amazing.”

A conservative estimate for the rink opening is in two weeks, Smedberg stated. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m., when it starts to get dark, the same hours as for the rest of the park, she said. There may be some evening activities planned, she noted.

Updates for outdoor activities are available on the park’s website.  Email and text alerts may be signed up for through that site.

“I usually throw something in about the ice rink through the text alert system,” Smedberg said.

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