With public ice skate time set to start on Friday, September 15, 2023, the local ice skating and ice hockey communities are excited to get back on the ice. For Talbot County Parks and Recreation, the start of the 2023 ice season is a welcome change from this time last year.
“In the fall of 2022, the Talbot County Community Center ice rink cooling system failed, requiring Parks and Recreation to close the ice rink until an emergency repair could be completed,” said Council President Chuck Callahan. “With the ice rink system being 44 years old, the failure was expected to occur soon, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time.”
In early October, the Talbot County Council approved an emergency bill to authorize a capital project for removal and replacement of the ice rink floor at the Talbot County Community Center through the inter-project transfer of funds from the appropriation for and extension of water and sewer lines to the Community Center. “Despite the expedited process and immediate funding, the replacement took time,” Callahan mentions. “The rink opened back up in February of 2023, for what would be the traditional last month of ice, but at that point the traditional hockey season was coming to an end.”
The 2023-2024 ice season is starting off with a renewed hum of excitement.
“With the new ice machine and cooling mechanisms, the ice resurfacing process is going smoothly and is ahead of schedule,” said Preston Peper, Director of Talbot County Parks and Recreation. “The new system has been quite effective, and the new gym space will allow us to continue other programming at the Community Center without having to use the ice rink space.”
Currently, when ice is not down in the rink area, Parks and Recreation offers other types of programming in the space such as sports clinics, roller blading, summer camp, and more. With the new system and a gymnasium also being built on the property, Peper is hopeful they will be able to offer ice skating year-round.
While there is no official decision on year-round skating quite yet, Parks and Recreation is excited to have a lot planned for the new ice, offering a substantial number of programs, in addition to supporting the local ice hockey and figure skating teams.
Fall Programming: On the Ice
Starting September 15th, public ice skating will be available Wednesday through Friday from 1:00-3:00 p.m., Friday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturdays from 7:00-9:00 p.m., and Sundays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Admission is $10, with skate rentals available for an additional $3.
Skating time will also be available for skaters aged 10 and under on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Helmets and walkers are available on a first-come first-serve basis; admission is $5 per child and includes skate rental. Accompanying adults are free.
For individuals who are new to skating, Learn to Skate Sessions are available in 3-week or 6-week programs, with evening, weekend, and midday times. Adult, homeschool, and hockey-specific sessions are also available.
For skaters aged 4-12 that have picked up the basics, the Jamie Webb Ice Hockey program focuses on basic skating and balance, edge control, starting, stopping, turning, and more.
For skaters who are more advanced, Parks and Recreation offers several courses to improve and perfect skating techniques. Showtime Class is a group performance class that incorporates synchronized skating and freestyle elements. Power and Edges Skate focuses on advanced speed and strength training and improving proper skating techniques, including positioning and balancing.
In addition, Adult Recreation Hockey drop-in skating will begin in October, and freestyle skating time will be back for skaters looking to practice skills on their own time on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.
For more information, including session dates, times, and pricing, visit talbotparks.org/skating
Fall Programming: Off the Ice
Fall session for dance classes with Ms. Bri will start up in late September. Tiny Toes (ages 2-3) will be on Thursdays from 10:00-10:30 a.m. Friday Dance Classes will include Preschool Ballet (ages 3-5), Intro to Hip Hop (ages 4-7), Fairytale Ballet (ages 5-10), Friday Hip Hop (Ages 8-14), starting at 5:00 p.m. onward.
On Monday, September 25th, Parks and Recreation will host a free Learn-to-Pickleball Clinic. Open to beginners, participants will learn the basics on how to play pickleball. Registration is required, and spots are filling quickly.
Parks and Recreation will also start up their first Pickleball course on the new pickleball courts, with four, 4-week long sessions, with times on Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, October 25th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., come have a “spooktacular” time at Halloween BOOnanza, a family-friendly event that includes ice skating, trick-or-treating, face painting, photo opportunities, and more; $10 per child at the door, no pre-registration required.
The Annual Decoy Tailgate Show takes place before the Talbot County Waterfowl Festival in November and features more than 150 different vendors from all over the country. Vendors display their work and have working decoys, carved decoys, artwork, sculptures, antiques and more for sale. The show runs from November 7th to November 9th, and is open to the public daily from 8:00 am.- 4:00 p.m.
For more information on Fall Pro