COVID-19 concerns among reasons for cancelling season
By Terry Duffy
Town of Lewiston Parks and Recreation Director Mike Dashineau announced this week the Lewiston Family Ice Rink will not be operational for the upcoming holiday season.
“It is with great sadness that the Lewiston Family Ice Rink will not be open with winter,” Dashineau said.
The rink typically opens in the days leading to the Lewiston Christmas Walk in early December and remains open through the holiday season to mid-January.
While the Lewiston Town Board “worked very hard” to make it happen, he said having to overcome a number of “obstacles and hardships” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic convinced the board to put the rink “on hiatus for 2020.”
Chief among the concerns is the prospect of not having a warming house available throughout the season – and the revenue that comes from such an operation.
“It became clear that the rink would have to operate in 2020 without the warming house tent,” Dashineau said. “The tent is completely sealed every year in order to keep it warmed enough to prevent ice from forming on its roof. Without proper ventilation and circulation, the fear would be that the tent would not be able to meet CDC and state guidelines for gatherings and indoor events.”
Dashineau said that, without having the warming house available, the town would be left scrambling for funding to sustain the rink’s operation.
In addition, “The Village of Lewiston has plans for further construction this winter” at Academy Park,” Dashineau said.
“All these factors contributed to the decision made by the Town Board,” he explained. “The Town Recreation Department is already in the process of presenting a plan for the rink operation in 2021, as we all hope to continue to bring this tradition back next year and beyond.”
“We hope to see you soon,” he said.