One of New England’s most visited historic attractions, Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth New Hampshire will soon be hosting world class ice skaters at their new outdoor seasonal ice skating rink on the museum grounds.
Joining them will be members of the public when the new rink opens around December 1st. According to a news release from Strawbery Banke, the rink will be professionally maintained.
“The nonprofit community skating venue will be open seven days a week from December through February. There will be public skating, including free community skating, skate rentals, lessons, pickup pond hockey, special events and private rink rentals. Puddle Dock Pond is the size of a traditional rink, with a unique shape featuring an area where skaters can warm up next to a wood fire and grab a cocoa and something to eat at the White Apron Cafe inside the Visitors Center. Spectators can view the action from a heated outdoor deck. The ice surface will be professionally maintained. The facility will be a temporary structure that is open for three months and then removed.”
I spoke to Lawrence Yerdon, President and CEO of Strawbery Banke at a recent groundbreaking ceremony, held to celebrate the successful fundraising drive that netted some $487 thousand dollars. That figure surpassed the original goal of $462 thousand dollars the committee decided on.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Jeff Keefe, who co-chaired the rink committee, spoke of the years it took to bring it to fruition. He also introduced Doug Webster, who talked about the world class skaters he will bring to the facility for performances and skating activities with children. You can listen to highlights of the ceremony with Keefe and Webster by clicking on the podcast arrow just below or the download link, depending on your device.
Among the challenges faced by the group was the overcoming of some local opposition of nearby residents in the city’s Sound End. They expressed concerns over the potential of noise and traffic in the neighborhood. Ultimately, their concerns were answered, and city boards approved the project, expected to open for this skating season. The website for the museum is www.strawberybanke.org.