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Beloved skating rink to return to Legion Field

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Beloved skating rink to return to Legion Field

Site of new skating rink

Site of new skating rink

Mike King

Site of new skating rink

Mike King

Mike King

Site of new skating rink

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Adults who grew up in Johnson can no doubt remember the skating rink that once graced Legion Field on School Street every winter.

In the not-so-distant past, it wasn’t uncommon to see five or six children figure skating, playing a pickup game of hockey, or clearing freshly fallen snow from the recreational rink. Then one winter the skating rink simply disappeared. Either from a lack of volunteers or a lack of interest, local skaters suddenly had to travel 16 miles to the nearby Stowe rink to get their skating fix.

Not anymore.

This year the Legion Field skating rink is set to return, thanks largely to the efforts of Brian Ronaldis.

According to Town Administrator Brian Story, the involvement of town officials in this year’s rink is mostly support, although Ronaldis asked (and received) their full support and blessing in the endeavor.

“It’s great Brian stepped forward and asked permission to do this. The town likes the idea,” said Story.

Building a skating rink is a difficult task, and unlike years past, equipment will be limited to hand shovels and strong arms to remove the snow that might accumulate on the rink.

“In the past heavy equipment was used by the town to maintain it, but that can only be done when the ground is completely frozen. It will be more time consuming and labor intensive, but the plan this year is to use light equipment,” Story said.

Despite the rink being a private endeavor, the town is more than willing to lend Ronaldis the support needed to get started.

“The plan is to have the Johnson fire department help get it started,” Story said.

In order to create the ice, the fire department will flood the field with a pump truck, laying a solid foundation for the rink. “We might have to ask them to come back if we have a thaw,” Story said.

Many local families are excited about the idea of a community rink. Greg Southard, a local father, is excited by the prospect of teaching his daughter to skate without having to brave the winter roads to Stowe.

“It’s cool that they’re doing something community-oriented for winter. There isn’t a lot to do in Johnson all winter,” Southard said.

During the summer, Legion field has become popular for live music every Tuesday, and the recent addition of a community oven has been popular during the warmer months as well. The new skating rink will ensure the field is frequented year round.

If all goes according to plan, the new rink should start becoming a reality soon with the onset of cold weather.

For NVU- Johnson Students, skating is only a short walk down the hill. For those interested in helping out, there will probably be plenty of snow to shovel.

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Beloved skating rink to return to Legion Field