DURHAM — It hardly seems possible, but heading into November a large pile of snow has already made an appearance in the Granite State.
It has drawn many curious residents and visitors who have stopped to take photos of the foliage-surrounded pile of white near the entrance to the Churchill Rink at Jackson’s Landing.
Rink operator Kirk Sim is happy to hear the snow pile is drawing attention. That is why he put the pile of collected ice shavings from the rink’s Zamboni there in the first place.
The public skating rink opened for the season last Monday, and Sim said he wanted to do something to entice people to come skate, even though it may not yet be at the forefront of their minds.
The snow pile seems to be working. On Sunday, more than 80 people participated in the public skate, and even on a Tuesday afternoon, two young children and two adults enjoyed secluded ice time in the open air arena.
Usually the ice shavings are dumped out in back of the rink to melt, and when the real snow starts falling Sim said there will no longer be a need for the attention grabber out front.
“The week before was quite warm … so you see the snow and start thinking about the changing season and about using the rink,” Sim said.
Last year, the rink celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, and Sim said it has become a well-loved gem by residents.
The rink was originally completely open to the elements and had a sand bottom and no boards, and has continued to evolve since then.
Sim said some residents would like to see it fully enclosed, while others like that it remains open to the outside.
Public skate times are offered daily in addition to drop-in hockey games, rental availability, hockey games and other events.
The rink is open to everyone at a cost of $3 per skater under the age of 12 and $5 per skater over the age of 12.
As Durham resident Patty Farrell skated around the rink with friend Ryan Parker on Tuesday, their two children, Dax Farrell, 2, and Zachary Parker, 4, sat on the sidelines playing cell phone games after their first day on the ice.
Dax Farrell is Patty Farrell’s fifth child and she says she has taught each of her children how to skate at Churchill Landing. She said she likes the open air atmosphere, and how close it is to home.
She said she and the kids love the snow pile adorning the entrance.
“The kids love it! It makes them want to come and kind of garners some excitement,” Farrell said.