MOUNT AIRY'S Watkins Park is home to a new outdoor ice skating rink. With last weekend's brief spell of frigid weather, the rink froze for the first time, and the surface was perfect for skating enthusiasts.
Town officials are hopeful that the rink will be a successful and enjoyable endeavor.
Early Sunday, I arrived at Watkins Park with a pair of ice skates, set to test the rink. It had been more years than I'd like to remember since I had last skated. I was unsure whether I could manage to stand on thin blades, let alone make it around without falling on my face.
I was surprised to find the rink empty. Actually, I was quite relieved -- at least no one would be there to witness my awkward attempts at skating.
I saw evidence that others had beaten me to the park, braving the cold, eager to try the new rink. Etchings of skate blades proved that I wasn't the only one anxious for the arrival of cold weather and the beginning of skating season.
After a few stumbles, my sense of balance and skating rhythm returned. I'm proud to say I actually remained upright, and my backside never once met the hard ice.
With the cooperation of Mother Nature, I'm looking forward to spending many more days and evenings at the rink. Local families now have a good excuse to get outdoors this winter and do something fun together.
Councilman Dave Pyatt, recalling the many winter days he spent skating on Pennsylvania ice ponds as a boy, was eager to provide a similar experience for Mount Airy residents. Pyatt serves as a liaison to the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Pyatt approached the Town Council last year after visiting a similar rink in Westminster. His idea was well received and construction began in the fall on a 50-by-80-foot rink at Watkins Park. The park was chosen over other sites because of ample parking and lighting.
Pyatt estimated the project cost $1,800.
Town officials hope children don't start playing ice hockey and monopolize the rink, designated for family skating. Because of the rink's limited size, officials also worry about large numbers of children skating too fast.
Pyatt said the town will address problems and concerns regarding the rink as they arise.
The faculty at South Carroll High School has been putting in long hours preparing for its match against radio station WYCR's Power Shooters on Jan. 11.
The benefit basketball game is sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Student Organization.
Game time is 7 p.m. at South Carroll High School, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield.
Tickets are $3 and available at the door.
Radio disc jockeys make up the Power Shooters team. Typically, they provide the crowd with lots of laughs as they play their own brand of basketball.
Profits from the game benefit PTSO programs. Mary Lees Gunther, PTSO president, said profits last year enabled the organization to donate $2,500 toward automation of the school's media center.
Registration begins Jan. 6 for Preschool Story Times and "Time for Twos and Threes" at Mount Airy branch library. The programs begin the week of Jan. 20.
Children ages 2 to 5 are welcome to register for these library programs.
Information: (410) 795-1010 or (301) 829-5290.
Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 12/27/96