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Saturday, December 09, 2023

Plans for Bo Diddley Community Plaza ice skating rink frozen again

The downtown ice rink, scheduled to open Monday, has been delayed until Midwest Display Inc. gets the rink set up.

No new date was announced, but the rink is expected to be open “as rapidly as possible,” according to a city statement.

The third delay was caused by cracks in the lines that will be used to cool the ice, said David Ballard, events coordinator for the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

The cracked PVC pipes will be replaced with copper piping.

The rink was originally scheduled to open Nov. 23, but it was delayed until Friday — and then Monday — because of some technical difficulties such as problems setting up the 35-foot-tall tent, said Russell Etling, city cultural affairs programs coordinator.

After the second delay, Midwest Display Inc. announced it would offer the first three days of skating for free.

The company will still offer three days of free skating when the rink opens, according to the release.

The delays have raised questions about whether these setbacks will affect the rink’s profits.

Ballard said he’s sure that’s on the supervisors’ minds.

“After all, that’s how they are making their money,” he said. “But they’re working through the troubles that they’ve experienced.”

Contact Meredith Rutland at

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