Homegrown ice rinks popping up across Western MT

Posted at 7:21 AM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 09:21:35-05

MISSOULA- Not many people leave home on Christmas day but some choose to head out into the cold to take part in an icy tradition

The Christmas holiday is filled with family traditions including heading out to enjoy the only time of year you can skate on an outdoor rink — which are becoming more available in western Montana.

“Outdoor is a dream and really an outdoor rink during the week of the holidays is ever rink makers dream itself,” Corvallis Booster Club president Patrick Daly said.

There really is something magical to the outdoor aspect of hopping on the ice especially with a stick and a puck.

“In it’s in purest form when you’re out here. And you look around and you see mountains and your skating in the sun and it’s just gorgeous,” Daly said.

“And there’s something about being outside on a winter day and having something to do.  Flying around on a pair of skates it’s just liberating and freeing,” he added.

The sport of hockey was born on outdoor rinks and now they keep popping up all over western Montana.

Corvallis should have their rink open by the end of the week while the Florence rink has been up and running with two nets half boards to keep the puck in play — and lights to keep the party going all night long.

Each rink has their own special vibe and feel and the one in Corvallis should also offer some unique features.

“I’m not sure how to judge it but I know it’s one of the biggest in the western US as far as an outdoor rink,” Daly told MTN News. “There’s not a lot like this and they’re certainly aren’t a lot that have the full hockey boards and the capabilities to do that.

Corvallis is hoping to get donations of used skates so people without them can learn to skate before buying a pair. Anyone with old skates or hockey equipment that could find a better use in the Bitterroot.

Click here to learn more about how you can lend a hand.