Halifax skating oval opens for new season, dozens take to ice

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HALIFAX - Dozens of people laced up their skates for a spin around the Emera Oval during its official opening day on Monday.

Young families, couples and skaters of all ages bundled up against below-zero temperatures and a stiff wind to visit the outdoor skating rink in Halifax.

“I’m excited,” 19-year-old Jessica Aurini said of her first visit as she pulled on skates. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long.”

Aurini said she likes having the oval in Halifax because it’s a great way for people to get out of the house and have something to do with friends over the winter.

Many people said the bright sunshine made a perfect skating day, despite the wind.

Lauren Marlin, 18, said she was glad the conditions turned out “so much nicer” than Sunday’s snowstorm.

“I haven’t gone that much in the past season, so this season I want to get a head start and go a lot,” Marlin said with a smile. “It’s free, it’s fun.”

HRM’s Dan Corbett was keeping track of those visiting the oval, and said 56 people had used the skating rink by just before 1 p.m. Monday.

Evan MacNeil, 32, said he and his wife were visiting from Cape Breton and wanted to go skating with an international student who was staying with them.

“In winter the instinct is to stay indoors, people like to hunker down … but it’s so fun if you’re prepared and dressed warm,” MacNeil said through a ski mask. “Nothing beats it.”

He said the venue is a great way to draw people into Halifax.

“Sydney’s supposed to get some kind of outdoor solution too but we’re waiting to see if that’ll happen,” he said.

The oval is now open daily for public skates depending on the weather and ice conditions. A New Year’s Eve party has been planned with a DJ, fireworks and open skate until midnight.

People can visit halifax.ca/SkateHRM for the public skate schedule and rental regulations.

- by Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax

Geographic location: Halifax, Cape Breton, Sydney

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