The perfect addition to any winter carnival is an outdoor skating rink.
That’s the goal of organizers of this year’s Pomquet Winter Carnival and their goal, with the carnival on the horizon, is definitely in sight.
“As part of the winter carnival celebration, they [organizers] were thinking a nice compliment to the outdoor aspect of it would be having an ice skating rink for families,” Randy Lee, who took on the job of seeing the rink constructed, said.
The area selected is near the Fr. P.J. Baccardax Hall.
“It’s well-sheltered … we were fortunate to find a level piece of ground because, I believe, in 1967, there was an original rink on that site,” Lee said. “We surveyed a few areas but we were fortunate to find this old site and it took very little excavation to level it off.”
The rink is 50 by 100 feet and while the weather hasn’t exactly cooperated recently, as far as making ice, Lee is confident it will be ready by the opening of the carnival.
“We had quite a bit of rain there with that last storm and we thought the rink would remain full of water but, unfortunately, there is a gravel base underneath it and it looks like we’re going to need to put a liner in it,” he said.
“And we’ve had some pretty unseasonably, warm temperatures so, getting a base of ice built is going to be a challenge for us, right now.
“That [first day of the carnival] is what we’re hoping for now; we’re sourcing a pond-liner from one of the landscaping companies in Halifax.”
Lee said the rink will provide free skating for anyone in the community or for those who visit during winter carnival and beyond.
“And we’re looking to also put in a material storage building and a little warm-up shelter so you can go in and change your jacket, boots, put on your skates, and warm-up, if the weather is bitter cold,” he said.
“We’re hoping to expand it in the future but, for the time being, it’s about getting it established and seeing how much interest there is. So far there has been quite a bit of interest in it, judging by our volunteer help, but we’ll be able to tell how much community support we’ll have in the future,” he said, adding he thinks of the project, and carnival, benefitting the people of Pomquet as well as nearby Southside Harbour.