Spokane’s Skate Ribbon opened to ice skaters Saturday morning at Riverfront Park, marking the start of its second year.
Greg Hicks came dressed for the occasion in a Boston Bruins hockey jersey and a hockey helmet. He was the first one on the ice.
“I got all excited for it to open this year,” he said. “I just enjoy it. It’s an important part of Spokane.”
The park has 600 pairs of ice skates to rent out, and the city bought a handful of new skates for this year, said Jon Moog, Riverfront Park director.
Parks staff placed an ice sculpture near the ribbon this year. In line with this year’s theme of “Fire and Ice,” the sculpture, depicting bricks and flames, will have actual flames inside of it.
“Every year, we want to bring a new sculpture out,” Moog said.
Following the theme, Parks staff hired Cirque Cadia, a fire-dancing performance group, to celebrate the opening of the ribbon’s second year Saturday.
Park officials are hoping for smooth operations this year following a rocky opening season last winter. In January, less than two months after the ribbon’s opening, a woman died after falling on the ice. In February, an ammonia leak was detected, causing the ribbon to close for about a month while repairs were made.
“This year will kind of be the test to see how it turns out,” Hicks said.
The ribbon last year was open for about eight weeks, and Parks officials still deemed it a success. Parks Director Leroy Eady said the ribbon met its forecast revenue, despite the closures.
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