The blue rink at the Stettler Recreation Centre was transformed into a hub of winter activities on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 19 as the Stettler community came out to participate in the fourth annual Skate with Santa event.
Hosted by the Parks and Leisures Services, the event has become a fun fixture for families during the festive season.
The idea was conceived by Gerry Little, a former parks foreman.
“Gerry organized it where he used to work, but when he moved away we kept it going, trying to make it better than the previous year,” said Jacqui Newton, a representative from the Parks and Leisures Services.
With this year being one of the bigger turnouts, Newton said, “There were a wide range of activities from skating and shinny to ice painting, along with several stations where kids could play games and collect tickets to redeem for a small prize.”
Some of these games were fish for candy canes, shoot the puck, bowling, ring toss and bean bag throw.
The highlight of the event was Santa Claus, who posed with children for pictures and skated around the rink for an hour.
“We were able to put this event on because of the local sponsors and volunteers,” said Newton.
There were free hot dogs and hot chocolate being served just outside the rink.
“It is such a fun event for the kids to experience,” said Abigail Witherspoon, who was visiting from south of Stettler with her two kids, aged two and four. “It is our first time, but we are enjoying it, its great!”
According to Newton, there were about 80 people in attendance, including kids, which was not too bad, given the number of events during the weekend at this time.
“I feel it turned out really well, and we were pretty organized this year,” said Newton. “We had plenty of staff helping out so everything went smooth, and its fun to see the families enjoying the day, and I would say take the time this holiday season to slow down and enjoy the moments spent with friends and family.”
As the afternoon waned away a corner of the ice rink became a colourful canvas as kids tried their hands at ice painting and other activities, and kept their spirits up throughout the event.