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Wheeling Park Ice Rink Officially Opens to the Public Tonight

File Photo by Eric Ayres Ice skating at the J.B. Chambers Memorial Ice Rink at Wheeling Park returns for the season starting this evening.

WHEELING – Lingering 80-degree weather may not seem to be conducive to usher in winter weather activities — but don’t tell that to the Zamboni driver or skate club members at Wheeling Park.

In fact, the ice at the J.B. Chambers Memorial Ice Rink is ready to officially open to the public for the season beginning this evening at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re right on schedule, actually,” Nat Goudy, manager at Wheeling Park, said of the ice rink’s opening today. “We always shoot for the third or fourth week of October.”

Last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rink opened for the season early — in August — in order to give people a good option for outdoor activities while almost all other public events were canceled.

Pandemic aside, last year was a banner year for the ice rink, as highly anticipated improvements were completed at the site. The Wheeling Park Commission broke ground on a $1.35 million renovation in March, a project that transformed the community ice rink into a new, state-of-the-art ice complex and multipurpose community facility.

“It’s newly renovated and ready to go,” Goudy said, encouraging people of all ages to come check out the upgraded rink during open public skating times this season. “It’s a great opportunity to get some exercise while having a good time.”

Goudy said typically, families tend to come out and skate during the afternoons, and teens from all across the Ohio Valley seem to enjoy getting together for evening skates. On weekdays, the ice rink is open during the day from 1-3 p.m., when there is usually much lighter skate traffic and a good opportunity for seniors to avoid the crowds and take the ice or for families with younger children to comfortably try out ice skating for the first time.

Admission to the J.B. Chambers Memorial Ice Rink at Wheeling Park is $7.75 for skaters ages 13 and over, and $6.75 for children ages 3-12. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Skate rental is $4.50 per person, and season passes are also available.

“We’re always available for groups of all kinds — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups — and we can be booked for birthday parties, too,” Goudy said, noting that food options and other accommodations are available with birthday party packages. “It’s always a fun time.”

In addition to open public skating, the ice rink also hosts events by the Wheeling Skate Club and the Ohio Valley Hockey Association. There are even adult pick-up hockey sessions available from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Fridays.

Anyone interested in figure skating lessons can visit wheelingskateclub.org. For more information about clinics and programs for skaters of all ages and skill levels, visit the Ohio Valley Hockey Association’s website at wvovha.com.

To learn more about Wheeling Park — Oglebay’s “sister park” — or to check out other activities there, visit oglebay.com/wheeling-park.

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