…Skaters will come!


We could argue the pros and cons of social media for hours on end.  But when a Facebook post in the popular community group ‘Clear Lakers’ creates a spark for one man to create an ice rink, I have to put a big check mark on the pro side!

Over the weekend, Bob Wolfram took to the popular community Facebook Page inquiring about making an ice rink.  The many winter-loving enthusiasts in town have been wanting something like this for years.

The response Bob received on his post was astounding.  Not only did the general public think it was a great idea, but it became a bit nostalgic as a few folks recalled ice rinks from years ago.  One comment included ‘If you build it, they will come’ meme from the popular movie, Field of Dreams.

“A few years back I had a local bank president tell me… ‘Bobby, during the wintertime for business owners on Clear Lake Main Street it is very difficult,’” Wolfram stated.  As a small businessman himself, it bothered Bob tremendously to think of those store owners going to bed each night worried about opening their doors the next day.  “I decided to do all I could to quietly prevent that,” he declared.

And that’s just what he did.

Bob cleared the snow, creating a rectangular rink in front of the seawall.  It was the first step in establishing a fun way to utilize the frozen lake and bring more people to downtown Clear Lake.  The next, Mother Nature handled on Monday with the ample rain.  It worked as a natural resurfacing for the rink.

Jessica Wood, owner of Charlie’s Soda Fountain and avid hockey lover, piggybacked off of Wolframs post with one of her own.

We agree Jessica, what a town indeed!!

Again, people took to the comments and shared ways to utilize the rink as well as share their THANKS to Bob for his selfless act of commitment to the people of Clear Lake.

So, what would one do on this piece of cleared ice on our beloved lake?  Well, the obvious is lacing up a pair of skates!  Ice skating is actually an effective form of aerobic exercise.  While most simply go for a leisurely glide around the arena or rink, you don’t even realize the many positive effects it has on balance, coordination, and your heart.

While Minnesota has always proven to be filled with full-fledged hockey lovers, the sport has gained a lot of traction in North Iowa over the years. But have you ever played hockey out on a lake?  Pond hockey (or in this case, lake hockey) offers a bit of a challenge.  More so than on a perfectly smooth indoor rink, that’s for sure.  Still, it’s a fantastic way to get outdoors and utilize the lake in the winter.

And have fun in the process!

Broomball is another fun activity.  I would describe it as a cross between hockey and soccer.  While played on the ice, players wear tennis shoes instead of skates.  The general concept is the same as hockey, except a ball is used in place of a puck.  Back in the early days of the sport, they used actual brooms dipped in water and frozen to create a solid way to hit the ball.  Today, a stick consisting of a shaft with a molded broom-shaped head is used to maneuver the ball into the net.

Regardless of what activity you choose to play on the ice, get out there and use it!  **Weather pending, of course.  It is not safe to walk/skate/etc with unsafe ice conditions**

And while you’re out and about, be sure to stop inside the many stores and restaurants.  I guarantee they will LOVE to see your smiling faces this winter.