Brainerd Area News

Backyard Rinks Rise Out Of Pandemic Closures

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Since the public rinks have been closed in Minnesota due to the pandemic, many families are making due with their own backyard and lakeside rinks. Over the past few weeks we have seen many pictures of families building and icing their own rinks. If they are lucky enough to be on a lake shoveling off a space on new lake ice has provided a space to skate.

This love of the ice and skating and hockey is so much a part of our culture, our identity. Whether it’s hockey or figure skating, families are drawn to the ice. In normal times we would be congregating together at a rink nearly everyday. Since the pandemic gathering has been discouraged but it will not stop us from getting ice time in the great outdoors as long as mother nature cooperates. We have seen rinks popping up in neighborhoods and lakes with thickening of the ice. Personal rinks range from a full sized 200 by 85 NHL sized sheet on Pelican Lake to a 20 foot square spot on the front lawn in Baxter. 

The Crew Arena in Baxter is the home of the Jake Haapajoki Memorial pond hockey tourney. Located at the Peterson home it would have occurred on New Years weekend 2021. This pic was taken at the tourney in January 2020.

We would love to see and celebrate those backyard rinks this season. Please share your pics of your rink or lake skating spot on our Facebook page that this blog is posted on. We want to see them all. Whether it’s the Crew Arena with boards and lights, our BBay Stacey’s shoveled lake ice. Show them all off and be proud of how we overcome to get out and skate in Minnesota.