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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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January 19, 2020

12/4/2014 3:30:00 PM
Open skating available at RIA, SARA Park

Kayla Thomason
Feature Writer

Local ice arenas are now open for the winter season. People who want to skate but aren't affiliated with a hockey team or figure skating association can take advantage of open skate nights.

SARA Park, located at 900 W. Somo Ave. in Tomahawk, holds open skate nights on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. until the first week of March.

There is a $2 fee to use the rink per night and there is no skate rental available.

SARA Park has an 85-by-200 foot ice surface for people to glide over, feel the blade of their skates cut smoothly into the shimmering surface as they propel themselves along.

The facility is 240 feet by 120 feet. It includes bleachers, a concession stand, entryway and a warming room.

Call Tomahawk City Hall at (715) 453-4040 for other possible free skating times.

The Rhinelander Ice Arena (RIA), located at 2021 E. Timber Dr., holds open skate nights on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. The schedule is subject to change depending on the high school sports schedule.

Cost is $3 per skater per session. Skate rental is $3.

RIA wraps up its winter season the first week in April.

"The ice is good here, Brett (Aylesworth, manager of RIA) makes a really good sheet of ice," said Lorraine Franz, a local skating instructor. "We have music and we just need more men partners for the ice dancing."

For those who are new to skating, RIA holds a Learn to Skate program on Sundays. The cost is $20 per session.

Franz will instruct the class. She has been teaching skating since 1981.

She encourages those interested in lessons to call first to get advice on picking skates.

"For people learning how to skate I think [The Rhinelander Ice Arena is] a really good place to start," Franz said. "It's lots of fun and it's good exercise."

The cost is $5 a lesson for a 15-minute private session.

If two people want to take a 15-minute lesson at the same time the cost is $2.50 each.

"It's always been a lot of fun for me that's why I keep doing it as long as I can," Franz said.

She teaches 12 dances and the basic skills during open skate on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

For more information about RIA, call (715) 369-1416.

Kayla Breese may be reached at

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