Ice rink brings smiles

WAPAKONETA - Throughout the day Friday, those involved with the Children’s Hometown Holiday helped to construct the opening highlight of the event, the ice skating rink. Children were able to enjoy an evening on the rink Friday with the fun continuing today until 3 p.m.
Elaine Poppe, chair of Children’s Hometown Holiday, said that there used to be ice skating in and near Wapakoneta, but due to unsafe ice it hasn’t been possible in recent years.
“All of the older folks fondly recall skating on the river and the fire barrel along side where you could warm your hands,” she said. “We often hear stories about how everyone liked to come watch the skaters even if they did not have skates of their own.”
The rink that Poppe and others involved with Children’s Hometown
See Ice, Page 6A
Holiday is a little bit different, but enjoyable nevertheless for youth and their families.
“The families of course do not have to have their own skates and there is someone at our rink to sharpen and create the skating ambiance complete with Christmas music, decorations provided by Village Green and signs provided by Schneider Signs.”
The owners of the rink also bring along a snow “machine” that is very popular with the young skaters. It doesn’t appear that this year’s event will have much need for the snow machine as a light snow fell Friday as the first skaters took to the rink and was expected to continue into the evening.
Jessica and Hannah Greiwe came to the ice skating rink soon after it opened Friday and spent almost an hour out on the ice. Jessica, who celebrated her 10th birthday on Friday, enjoyed skating at Children’s Hometown Holiday for the first time.
“You have fun,” she said. Sister Hannah has skated before on family trips to Pittsburgh, but loves that Wapakoneta gets an ice rink once a year. “It’s fun, you get to skate around the rink as much as you want.”
The ice skating rink even brought out more seasoned skaters. Lacey Detrick has been taking lessons for several years in Troy. Lacey practiced on the ice before performing at 4:30 Friday evening.
“I think it’s great,” she said of the rink in Wapakoneta. “I like to see the smiles on kids faces because I don’t think there’s an ice skating rink near here.”
This year’s sponsors are several local businesses including G.A. Wintzer and Son, Attorney John Poppe, TSC, Wapakoneta Area Community Foundation, Midwest Electric, the Eagles, Amvets Post 333, Harvest Baptist Church, Alan Davis Insurance, Glacier Hills Lakes, Ring Containers and Kantner and West Chiropractic.
“Most of them are the same generous folks who have been supporting this favorite event since it started,” Poppe said. The rink has been a crowd favorite for three years as part of Children’s Hometown Holiday.
Friday the halls of the fire station were also filled with candy and treasures that Santa told the Poppe and the other organizers to have ready for he and his Octagon Club elves to pass out today.
Friday included a lot of other prep work for the event. “It was a busy day for Santa’s elves young and old, everywhere in Wapakoneta,” Poppe said.
“The line up for the parade is set, the barricades are readied and the stores and businesses finished their preparations for visits from the children of Wapakoneta.
“A special surprise this year is that Ralphie will be ‘live’ in the window at Casa Chic with his bunny suit, Red Ryder gun and his dad’s dubious leg lamp.”
All of the events during Children’s Hometown Holiday are free for all children and families and open to the public.