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Long Islanders celebrate new ice skating rink in Wyandanch

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, cuts a ribbon

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, cuts a ribbon at the opening of The Rinx Skating at Wyandanch Plaza in Wyandanch, Dec. 10, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Dozens of local residents spent a chilly Saturday slipping, sliding, laughing and gliding across the ice in Wyandanch at the area’s first ice skating rink.

The grand opening of The Rinx Skating at Wyandanch Plaza kicked off Saturday with people taking to the ice at the new outdoor skating rink to enjoy time with family and even some first-time skating jitters.

At the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, local and project officials, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said the ice rink — built over a two-month span — was the first ever to be constructed in the Town of Babylon. Officials said they are working to offer local children one-time-only free ice skating lessons at the rink.

Marise Laurent, a Wyandanch resident who lives across the street from the new rink, was watching her sons Victor Bernadel, 10, and Bernardin Bernadel, 14, skate for the first time.

“They’re having a great time,” she said, laughing as she saw her sons clinging to the safety rail while keeping their balance on the ice. “The best part is that since we’re right across the street, we can see everything now from our apartment, the whole rink.”

As Angela Williams, in her 50s, of Wyandanch, and her mother, Ruth Williams of Wheatley Heights, watched a giggling young skater slip and fall on her back right in front of them, Angela Williams laughed, saying, “And that’s why we don’t get on the ice.”

While they didn’t skate, the mother-daughter pair had heard about the rink online and decided to take in the festivities together.

“It’s a wonderful place, especially for the kids,” Ruth Williams said.

Denise Graham, 51, of Deer Park, watched her 14-year-old daughter, Tamara Graham, ice skate for the first time.

“She’s having a ball,” Graham said.

Graham, who said she hadn’t put on a pair of ice skates in 25 years, was looking forward to returning to the ice on Saturday: “I’m feeling bold, so I’m going to go for it.”

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