In the wake of the arrival of winter weather, the Wallowa Valley Community Ice Rink was expected to open for the season Wednesday, Dec. 17, in Enterprise's City Park.

"It is a great place to have fun and get exercise during our long winters, so all are encouraged to come check it out," said ice rink manager Andie Lueders.

There is no charge to use the ice rink, and normal operating hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, weather permitting. It is a managed, natural outdoor rink, and is kept open as much as possible during those hours, except when it is too warm, rainy, or snowy.

Lueders advises skaters to always call the Ice Rink Hotline (263-0715) to check on the ice status before heading down to the rink.

The rink is available for anyone to skate during most hours, except for times when specific activities are scheduled.

Scheduled skating activities are: Mondays and Wednesdays, 7 to 9 p.m., Advanced Adult Co-ed Hockey; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m., Open/Beginners' Hockey; Fridays, 12:30 to 2 p.m., Youth Hockey - all youth are welcome. Instructors and supervisors will be on hand; Saturdays, 9 to 11 a.m., Advanced Adult Co-ed Hockey; and Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., Open/Beginners' Hockey

All youths are welcome to turn out for Youth Hockey. Instructors and supervisors will be on hand.

Schedule changes will be posted at the rink, on the rink hotline, on wallowa.net, and on locally distributed flyers. Special events will include Skating for Santa for youngsters, 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 24, and New Year's Eve Skating Party, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31.

Other special events are in the works. The ice rink is also available for private event rental; there is a small fee, and interested persons can leave a message on the Ice Rink Hotline to inquire.

Ice skates and hockey gear are available for rental at Deb's Apparel at 115 W. Main St. in Enterprise. Deb's is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 to 4 on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays, but rentals made on Saturday can be returned on Monday for only the cost of a one-day rental. Skate rental is $5/day or $10/week.

The Soroptimist Thrift Shop and Second Best also sell some used skates and hockey equipment, and ice rink manager Andie Lueders also has a small amount of used gear for sale; call 263-0715 to inquire.

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