Outdoor ice skating mostly back to normal at Upper Valley rinks

  • Lucy Rojansky, of Norwich, Vt., second from left, helps her son Sol Rojansky, 5, put on his skates while Christian Dinsmore, of Norwich, Vt., right, helps his sons Stanley Dinsmore, 9, center, and Charlie Dinsmore, 6, with theirs before playing hockey at the ice rink on the town green in Norwich, Vt., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News / Report For America photographs — Alex Driehaus

  • From left, Stanley Dinsmore, 9, Charlie Dinsmore, 6, Abe Rojansky, 8, and Sol Rojansky, 5, all of Norwich, Vt., play hockey at the ice rink on the town green in Norwich, Vt., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. Several days of freezing temperatures allowed ice rinks around the Upper Valley to open to skaters. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Tracks left by skaters remain on the ice rink at the town green in Norwich, Vt., on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. With temperatures fluctuating above and below freezing, towns like Norwich let residents know when their rinks are open through recreation department websites and signs posted near the ice. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/8/2022 9:44:16 PM
Modified: 1/8/2022 9:43:24 PM

NORWICH — Following a mid-COVID-19 pandemic move to Norwich, Kim Dovin said it’s been hard to meet people.

But her three children have made friends at Marion Cross School and the ice rink on the town green has proved to be a good place to meet up on a cool and sunny day as Saturday was. The family, which has lived previously in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in Maine, has learned to embrace winter sports.

“You’ve got to do that in the north,” Dovin said as she laced up her skates in preparation to join her husband, Christian Dinsmore, and their children: Henry, 11; Stanley, 9; and Charlie, 6, on the ice. It’s “great for the kids.”

The Dinsmore boys joined friends Abe and Sol Rojansky, 8 and 5, respectively, on the ice with hockey sticks and a puck, creating goals at each end of the rink. Dovin, Dinsmore and Lucy Rojansky, Abe and Sol’s mom, joined them.

All wore masks and there were some falls, but the play was brisk enough for some of the players to peel off their jackets.

Many Upper Valley towns have opened their community ice rinks this month as the temperatures have dipped low enough to freeze the ice. Conditions appeared to be top-notch on Saturday afternoon, following several days of below-freezing temperatures. By Saturday afternoon, temperatures were in the low 20s, following a morning in the single digits.

Conditions were right for skaters of varied abilities. As the hockey game in Norwich continued, 4-year-old Maya Northern took to the ice, with her father Alex, Norwich’s fire chief. Maya, who wore a pink helmet and snowsuit, slipped a bit and fell, but stood up clinging to the side of the rink. As she did so, she grabbed a bit of snow from the edge and threw it in her father’s direction, playfully.

Northern, who said he learned to skate at Occom Pond in neighboring Hanover, said Norwich’s rink on the green in front of Marion Cross School is “one of the benefits of living in a town like this.”

Elsewhere in the Upper Valley, there were no skaters on the Randolph ice rink right at noon when it opened, but the rink had been busy the past couple of days since it opened on Thursday, Chandler Anderson, a rink attendant, said from behind the desk inside the warming hut.

The January opening isn’t much behind schedule, said Anderson, a senior at Randolph Union High School who has worked at the rink for the past few years.

“It’s rare that we open before Christmas,” he said.

Anderson said he didn’t know how to skate before coming to work at the rink, but “now I like it a lot.”

He’s picked it up from some of the other skaters in town and through practice.

In Randolph, where the warming hut has concessions, games and skate rentals, this year marks a return to near normalcy for the ice rink’s operations.

Last year, people had to schedule set times for skating, but this year people can come as they wish during the rink’s hours, Anderson said. They are still required to wear mask, however.

“Business as usual,” Anderson said.

Townspeople in Vershire, which has a new rink this winter, have scheduled a party to celebrate the rink’s opening on Jan. 15 from 3-6 p.m. at the Vershire Town Center field, where the rink is located. The event is slated to include hot dogs and hot cocoa.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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