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Despite weather, LIers enjoy ice skating in Greenport

Laurel residents Alex McKenzie and Andrew McKenzie, 5,

Laurel residents Alex McKenzie and Andrew McKenzie, 5, try some cool moves at the Mitchell Park Ice Skating Rink in Greenport. (Feb. 18, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Ice skating since she was 3 years old, 58-year-old Peggy Lauber of Greenport can’t imagine spending her Saturday afternoon any other place than on the ice.

So the Greenport Ice Skating Rink at Mitchell Park and Marina proved to be the perfect setting for her.

“I love to skate. This place is great to ice skate,” she said. “Where else can you skate on the North Fork with a marina to look at in the background?”

Greenport Village Administrator Dave Abatelli couldn’t agree more.

“This is the only ice skating rink on the North Fork,” he said. “It’s a great place for local people to come to.”

The portable ice skating rink beside the carousel and marina is 70 feet wide by 140 feet long.

“It can fit up to 300 people,” Abatelli said.

The ice skating rink remains frozen by an industrial refrigeration system that costs $8,000 to operate.

If it is cold outside, it costs between $3,000 to $4,000 to run the system. The Village of Greenport foots the bill.

During the warm weather, the computer control machine is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even though, it is computer-controlled, it must be monitored by the staff. It must stay set at 16 degrees.

Now in its seventh winter season, the rink opens Thanksgiving weekend and closes in the middle of March.

Hal Lindstrom of Baiting Hollow said he visits the rink regularly.

“I come here all the time. Ice skating for me is like floating on air,” he said.

Alexandra Kekalos of Greenport brought her daughter Stella, 8, to the rink.

“We come here all the time. We love it. There is where Stella learned how to skate,” Kekalos said.

Skating rink manager Mike Ryan of Mattituck said he enjoys ice skating especially with his children Bridgett, 7, and Emmet, 9.

“Ice skating is fun. I love it. I get to play ice hockey and my kids play, too. It’s great,” he said.

The rink offers a plethora of activities including youth hockey, adult hockey and beginner lessons.

“We offer something for every age group from young to seniors,” Abatelli said. “The purchased ticket is good for the whole day. You can turn in your skates, have lunch or take a walk around town and then come back and ice skate."

During the weekdays, it costs $7 for adults and $5 for children. On weekends, prices are $10 for adults, $7 for children. Skate rentals are $5 for adults and children.

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