Even when there’s no hockey going on in Big Valley’s arena, there’s almost always someone willing to take to the ice to skate and play.
On Sunday, Jan. 22, a small group of people gathered together to play a bit of pick-up hockey, learn to skate, and just have fun.
Big Valley resident Brent Bartley comes out often, almost every chance he gets. On Sunday, he was there with two-year-old Zane Bartley, who’s just learning to skate.
While the elder Bartley pushed the younger around on a chair and tried to convince him to try skating on his own two feet, Brady Duncan, 12, was busy firing pucks at the net, practicing his aim and strength.
“I’m out here every chance I can get,” Duncan said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Though the crowd was smaller on Sunday, Duncan said his friends usually are there, and about 10 people come out to enjoy the access to the free skating time.
“It probably happens three or four times a week,” Bartley said. The reason he said he enjoys the free skating is because of convenience.
“It’s right here in town,” he said. “We don’t have to go anywhere.”
The free skating hours are sponsored by the Village of Big Valley, according to Holly Skocdopole, the ice scheduler for the Agricultural Society.
“It’s pretty well used,” she said of the free skates, which include one or two per free skates a week, plus a puck and stick skate once a week.
The schedule is available at the arena or on the village website.