SOUTHINGTON — At almost this exact time last year, the pond at Memorial Park was opened to the public for ice skating, thanks to a stretch of freezing winter temperatures that made the pond safe.
This year, as 2019 officially arrives, the pond remains iceless. Temperatures for New Year’s Day are expected to climb into the mid 50s, and the highs for the remainder of the week are expected to eclipse the 40 degree mark, forcing town residents to leave their skates in the garage, at least for now.
“The weather has been so warm that skating hasn’t been possible.” said John Barry of the Southington Town Council.
Public Works still plans for the pond to eventually open, as the body of water in Memorial Park has become the skating haven for Southington in recent years, since the pond was dredged to help it freeze over more efficiently. In the past, a temporary ice rink was installed, but with the warmer temperatures, even that process would prove to be a difficult one.
“We’ve installed those man-made rinks before, but that faces similar challenges in that it still needs to freeze over,” said Dawn Miceli of the Town Council. “The pond isn’t that deep, like an artificial rink, so it can easily freeze over, but we need to have normal winter weather.”
For now, the town can do nothing but wait. With freezing temperatures still seemingly far away, a ballpark estimate for when the pond will have the appropriate ice thickness for skating is impossible to make.
“When mother nature decides to cooperate,” Miceli said on when the pond can finally open. “But we’re nowehere close to that with 50-degree days.”
The weather has been frustrating for ice skating enthusiasts, but the town remains hopeful and insists that once the chilling temperatures creep in, it won’t be long before the pond transforms into Southington’s premier skating spot.
“I’m hopeful,” Miceli said. “I’m sure the residents are as well, that mother nature will run its course and the pond will be the town’s ice skating venue again.”
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