Outdoor ice rink opens in Belvidere’s Doty Park


Photo provided by Belvidere Park District

Belvidere community members enjoy the ice rink at Doty Park.

Kayla Vittore, Reporter

Doty Park in Belvidere has recently welcomed a new addition to the park.  The construction of the Riverside Ice Arena has finally been completed after about three years of hard work.  On December 4, the ice rink was officially opened to the public.  There has been lots of interest in the ice rink from the community, and many people arrived for the opening day.


     “We’ve had a steady flow of people,” said the Belvidere Park District’s Recreation Marketing Manager, Gabriel Castillo, “Friday we had almost a thousand people here.”


     The visit from the Ice Hogs on Dec. 15 turned out to be a great success.  “We had almost 500 fans in attendance, a few TV stations, as well as our partner 104.9 the X [radio station], who did a live broadcast from the event.”  Fans that came to the ice rink were reported as being very enthusiastic about the event and wearing all sorts of Ice Hogs spirit wear.


     Castillo hopes to continue hosting high-attendance events at the Riverside Ice Arena, including a youth hockey tournament on December 19 and 20.  He hopes to attract local hockey teams to the new ice rink.


     In general the Riverside Ice Arena has received a lot of positive feedback from its first visitors.  “It’s really nice, and it’s only a dollar for skates,” said Hannah L. Johnson (‘16)  I definitely think I’ll come here throughout the season.  It’s something to do here in Belvidere, which is hard to come by.”


     There’s more to do at the Riverside Ice Arena than simply skating around.  Broomball, a game similar to hockey, will also be offered during the last 45 minutes of Public Skate Times, and for people looking to play some hockey there will be Open Shoot Times devoted to just that.


     Another great part of the new ice rink is it’s affordability.  Skate rentals are only $1, and admission for anyone four to 17 years old is also just $1.  Even better, to promote attendance during the first month of the ice arena’s operation, admission is completely free until Jan. 4 during Public Skate Times.
     If you find yourself bored this winter break, consider meeting up with some friends at the new Riverside Ice Arena.  Whether you’re interested in Broomball, hockey, or just gliding on the ice, you’re sure to have a nice time. It’s cheap, fun, and nearby.