Outdoor ice skating rink at Rayner Park re-opens after two decades

The chilling temperatures are definitely paying off for some locals who found themselves taking a trip down memory lane.

After more than two decades, Mason city officials have decided to bring the ice skating rink in Rayner Park back to life.

“It looks just like it did when I was little,” Angie Vandecar.

Vandecar remembers gliding across the ice in Rayner Park years ago.

She says it was a tradition.. and now it’s an experience she hopes to pass on to a new generation.

“It was something that I came and did with my family and now I’m here doing it with my own kids,” says Vandercar.

Today the ice rink sits in the same spot as it did when it was last created in the 1990s.

A more than 20-year old attraction, Mason City officials say they wanted to restore and give back to members of the community.

“We’ve got a few rough spots left, but the majority of it is ready to skate,” says Superintendent of Public Works for the City of Mason, Tom Silsby.

Silsby says employees like Patrick Hicks brought hoses in to fill the man-made rink and each of the 12-layers of ice took about 15-hundred gallons of water to create.

Hard work that Hicks says has paid off.

“In the last week we were coming about 4 times a day, at least once at night trying to layer it and layer it and layer it so we don’t have the bubbles and all the other problems. I think we’ve got a pretty strong base that we’ll keep growing on as long as the weather holds,” says Hicks.

Hicks says the perfect temperature for skating on the rink is anywhere from 5-20 degrees.

Visitors can go inside a nearby building to change into their skates and warm up.

Outside lights were added so the skating fun can continue into the dark hours.

“The City of Mason, they’re such good people so they deserve something like this,” says Hicks.

Little moments that skaters say will last forever.

“We would bring hot cocoa and make an experience out of it. So today to be able to do it with my kids, is really neat, it just brings back 20 years of those good memories,” says Vandecar.

The outdoor rink is open during park hours as long as weather permits.

It’s free but visitors will need to bring their own skates.

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