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Dozens ice skate outdoors in Port Jefferson

Melody Luo, 3, enjoys one of her first

Melody Luo, 3, enjoys one of her first falls on the ice. She was with her family at the ice skating rink at Port Jefferson's Harborfront Park on Christmas Eve. (Dec. 24, 2011) Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Dozens of families took to the ice at Port Jefferson’s Harborfront Park skating rink on Christmas Eve with a few laps around the ice.

It was the fourth year the rink has run the holiday event and it’s a crowd favorite, said rink director Tom Palamara, 30, of Lynbrook.

“As a kid I always went skating on Christmas Eve,” said Palamara, who grew up in Mt. Sinai, just up the road from the rink. “I’m glad we can provide it for a lot of the families around here.”

A young couple held hands as they circled the rink, while another family held up their young son who was having trouble on the ice.

Yoni Luo, 40, of Port Jefferson, brought his 3-year-old daughter, Melody, out for her first bout on the ice. The tot smiled and laughed as she slid around, trying to stand up on her inlines.

Carla Sciara, 44, was with her children and nieces at the rink because it was something that brought the family together.

Her nieces, Anastazia Scalone, 19, and sister Alyxandra Scalone, 16, both of Hammond, N.Y., said while they do skate often, they don’t have the opportunity to skate outdoors -- cold temperatures usually confine them to indoor hockey rinks.

“It’s beautiful,” Alyxandra Scalone said. “It reminds of up north ... [except] it’s usually colder.”

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