Northlanders Skate Before Temps Drop

Subzero Temps Mean Outdoor Rinks Close

DULUTH, Minn.- Lately the weather’s been great to get out on the ice.

No, not the frozen parking lots and sidewalks.

Ice skating rinks.

But many outdoor rinks in the Northland close once the windchill drops to about –20 degrees.

Even though outdoor rinks may close, in Duluth, Essentia Health provides open skating at their Heritage Sports Center every Wednesday. In Superior, Wessman Arena at UWS has an open skate every Sunday.

But there’s a magic to outdoor skating, alongside tall evergreens and mountains of snow.

So Northlanders slipped on their skates before this weekend’s subzero temps make things outside as cold as ice.

Bayfront Park fills with the sound of metal on ice, as dozens bring out their skates to enjoy winter in the great outdoors of the Northland.

“It’s great to get fresh air and exercise and be outside,” said Brenda Miatke, out with her kids and some of their friends. “It’s Duluth, it’s winter, you’ve gotta be outside.”

No matter how advanced you are, everyone is equal on the ice.

Experienced skaters push others around on chairs or help their friends up from falling.

And there’s a lot of falling.

But some of these skaters say, it’s easy to learn once you get the hang of it, from the right people.

“Everybody plays hockey, so if you have, like all your friends play hockey, then they’ll probably teach you something,” said Esther, Brenda’s daughter.

Speaking of Hockey, one young player in Superior loves a certain position.

“To do the goalies!” said 5-year-old Jaxtin LePage.

At Carl Gullo park in Superior, some hockey players practice, repeating one move over and over again, to achieve perfection.

Other players, like Jaxtin, are just relaxing out on the ice, playing tag, and, because they’re boys, they barrel into each other.

“My favorite thing is to race and tag,” said LePage.

When asked if he enjoyed falling, seeing that he fell multiple times during tag, he flatly responded.


But for some, that’s the best part of skating.

“Falling down,” said Esther. “Yeah, it’s funny.”

Whether it’s smacking pucks or smacking the ice, one thing’s for sure, the Northland loves skating.

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