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Published December 22, 2011, 10:14 PM

GF Cemetery Opens Pond For Skaters

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - This mild weather is forcing public ice rinks in Grand Forks to remain closed. But, Memorial Park Cemetery is offering a unique option for those looking to lace up their skates.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - This mild weather is forcing public ice rinks in Grand Forks to remain closed. But, Memorial Park Cemetery is offering a unique option for those looking to lace up their skates.

Memorial Park Cemetery has a 400 foot pond right in the middle of it. That pond has frozen solid and is the only outdoor ice in town open for skating.

Thursday night was the first time this winter Matt and Karlee Wehe have been able to skate outside. And they say they aren't big fans of this mild weather.

"I don't know, it's really weird," Karlee Wehe said.

But tonight they were finally able to put on their ice skates. This is the first year Memorial Park Cemetery has opened its pond for family ice skating.

"Our pond, the ice just because it's kind of down low here and protected from the wind, the ice just froze really smooth this year and usually if snow falls on it, it gets all bumpy and everything," Grand Forks Cemetery Association Administrator Robin Purcell said.

Other rinks in the city sit dry, showing just some brown grass surrounded by white boards. So the 400 by 70 foot outdoor pond offers something a little different for skaters.

"(I like) that it has lights," Matt Wehe said.

"And when you look down you can see like, it looks like water," Karlee Wehe added.

"Why shouldn't we just open it up? We've never done this before. And you know, we just thought lets do it for Christmas through the holidays here and we want to keep it family oriented," Purcell said.

Purcell said they don't want anyone playing hockey on the pond, to keep it safe for children.

Caretakers created their own zamboni to make the ice extra smooth. They used their lawn sprayer used to kill weeds in the summer.

The pond hasn't seen a lot of ice skaters yet. But Purcell said they're expecting more now that the Grand Forks public schools have started Christmas break.

The pond will be open a couple more weeks, until about 10:00 p.m. every night.

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