RAPID CITY, SD (KELO) — An old skating rink in Rapid City has found new life and is once again helping people enjoy the outdoors.
For decades, this rink was a place where friends and family gathered to shoot the puck, exercise or just have fun. It was quiet for 20 years, but now it’s open again and busy with skaters.
“It was actually pretty awesome, and today is just perfect!” Finnan Wheaton, ice skater, said.
Finnan Wheaton and his friends gathered for a birthday party. Wheaton says it was a great way to spend his morning.
“My mate Kyron had his birthday here and he invited me over so we skated, had fun, played games, it was actually a pretty fun day,” Wheaton said. .
Taylor Auringer came to the rink for a peaceful exercise.
“I’m just going to see how long I can hold out, play with the puck and have a little fun,” said ice skater Taylor Auringer.
The rink is located in Braeburn Park on the west side of Rapid City. Auringer says the location is perfect.
“It’s quiet, you get the cliff, you get the creek, you get nature while you get some exercise and enjoy the ice skating activity,” Taylor Auringer said.
You won’t just find skaters here at Braeburn Park, but lots of dogs too.
When the rink hasn’t been flooded for the past 20 or so years, Braeburn Park was primarily a place for dogs and their owners to hang out and play.
“It’s also such a beautiful place, you can be surrounded by dogs. It’s about as good as it gets,” Taylor Auringer said.
Auringer says that’s how he fell on the rink.
“Driving to and from 44, still seeing it, thinking oh it’s just part of the dog park. Then I had a wild hare and decided to quit this year, and it’s an ice rink” , said Taylor Auringer.
The rink repair is entirely due to the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department. Scott Anderson says it was a big project for the teams that started a few years ago.
“I had some guys interested and decided to fill it out and see how it would work. We pump water from the creek so it really costs nothing. We had it filled that first year and we had things to do with it,” said Scott Anderson, Rapid City Parks Division Manager.
The teams therefore reconstructed the ice rink. Anderson says he’s happy to be part of the project that means so much to the community.
“When we were working on it, people came in and said, ‘Oh yeah, when I was a kid, we used to come and go skating. So over the years I think it’s been a popular place for people,” Scott Anderson said.
“For my situation, just coming across a rink that has boards and nets is awesome. Then you mix in the history which makes it an even better place to skate,” said Scott Auringer.
Today, the Braeburn Park Ice Rink is no longer just a relic of Rapid City’s past, but a place where friends and families can skate for many years to come.
The Braeburn Park ice rink was repaired for the first time in two decades last January. We have included links to the city website for the rink at KELOLAND dot com.