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Jeffersonville officials happy with return of public ice skating rink

Public outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Jeffersovnille
The City of Jeffersonville
The ice skating rink opened in late November and has welcome visitors of all ages.

Jeffersonville residents once again have access to a public ice skating rink, after going five years without one.

Skaters can head to The Depot in downtown Jeffersonville to hit the rink. A 45-minute session costs $12, and while there, visitors can get food and drinks from a variety of local vendors.

The city used to have a public rink in a parking lot at the corner of Spring and Market streets, but that space has since been developed.

“We were looking for other places to be able to put it in the city, and we wanted to keep it in a downtown location and close to Spring Street,” assistant director of Jeffersonville Park and Recreation Amber Ridings said.

Ridings said the downtown area near Spring Street is a central meeting spot for residents, particularly during the holidays. It also gives quick access to the businesses and restaurants in the area.

When The Depot became available for the rink, it was a perfect fit for what city officials were looking for.

Ridings said the rink’s return was highly anticipated by residents, with many calling throughout the pandemic to ask about it.

Having a space where the community can come together year-round was important to city officials.

“We do a lot of activities in the summer. We have the RiverStage concert, where the public can come for free, and we were just like, ‘We have to bring this back for families to be able to use and kids are able to have fun,’” Ridings said.

Heather Rapp, Jeffersonville’s public art administrator, said community spaces make the city more inclusive.

“I think it’s pertinent to have common spaces that are open pretty much to anyone and everyone,” Rapp said. “Back in the early 2000s, there really wasn’t a whole lot in the area to congregate and socialize.”

Mayor Mike Moore said having access to public spaces helps improve quality of life and further the development already taking place in the city.

He said the return of the ice rink reminds him of his own childhood in the area.

“When I was a little kid back in the ‘60s, it was pretty common to get a pair of ice skates for Christmas, but that’s not common anymore,” Moore said. “So it's kind of fun to see not only kids, but people of all ages get out there and have fun doing something you can’t do in the middle of the summer.”

The rink is open Wednesday through Sunday until Jan. 29.

A full list of hours and the link to purchase tickets can be found on the Jeffersonville Parks and Recreation website.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.