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Riverfront Ice Rink Counted On to 'Activate the Parks'

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Copyright 2016 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)
Kayleigh Skinner, KAYLEIGH.SKINNER@COMMERCIALAPPEAL.COM

Xavier and Jadda Powell were driving across the Interstate 40 bridge into Memphis Saturday from Pine Bluff, Ark. for a "daddy daughter day" in the city when the eagle-eyed 6-year-old spotted a skating rink on the riverfront. The pair decided to stop by an investigate, each donning ice skates and stepping onto the Fourth Bluff Ice Rink on its opening day.

The city's first riverfront skating rink is a seasonal project and part of Reimagining the Civic Commons, a public-private partnership aimed at revitalizing parks, plazas, trails and libraries.

"It's just an awesome thing to have right on the riverfront to activate the parks," said Alisa Bradley, Riverfront Development Corporation museum operations manager and "skate guard" at the rink on Saturday. "It's a wonderful reason to come down and be on the Mississippi River."

For $10, visitors like the Powells could get a pair of ice skates and take to the ice for two hours. Ethel Johnson brought her grandchildren to the skating rink, located in the Mississippi River Park on Riverside Drive next to the Tennessee Welcome Center to check it out.

"I think its fantastic, we need to do more stuff like this," Johnson said.

Karly Baker stood in line with her father Michael Baker Saturday afternoon, slightly nervous because it was their first time going ice-skating.

"I'm so, so scared I'm gonna fall," the 8-year-old said. Her father reassured her that she would be fine, adding he might slip too.

"That would be really funny," she said.

Skating aids were available for ice skaters who needed them. Xavier Powell used one to do a lap around the rink with Jadda, but soon the pair braved the ice without it, sticking close to the rails instead.

For those who just wanted to watch, two fire pits were located near the rink with seating to stay warm, and food trucks lined up on Riverside offered snack options. Live music, skating lessons and other events also are planned.

The rink hours are 2-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 2-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. RDC officials have said the rink will operate through at least the end of January.

 
December 11, 2016
 
 
 

 

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