Just in time for Christmas break, here’s something new for Winterset kids and families to enjoy this winter (as the weather allows): a new outdoor ice rink!
Located in the grassy area to the west of the tennis courts and south of the Aquatic Center, just off of Jefferson street, this 50′ x 100′ portable ice rink was set up by the Winterset Parks & Recreation Department and opened on December 18th. It is free to use and open seven days a week from 9:00 am to dark, weather permitting (it is not temperature-controlled other than Mother Nature). During open hours, vehicles can enter as if going to the pool and park in the lot to the south of the rink and tennis courts. If it gets too warm and slushy to skate, the entrance gates will be closed and signs will be posted there. Skaters will need to bring their own skates, and all are asked to be kind to the facilities and respect others in the rink.
Up close, it looks like an enormous version of one of those blue plastic swimming pools you fill up in the back yard with a garden hose. In reality it’s quite a bit more high-tech. Those plastic walls around the outside snap together and are lined with a big sheet, which is secured on the inside perimeter with a kick-plate to keep it from being torn up. The whole thing is staked securely to the ground, and it is filled with 30 thousand gallons of water. That’s more water than they anticipated, but if all goes well this year and they decide to put it in the same place next year, they’ll level the ground underneath and it will take less water to fill. Just like the blue plastic swimming pool, though, it gets drained and put away in the off season each year.
I caught up with WPRD Director John Pletchette at the rink, surveying the finished project as the Landers family skated happily nearby. “Joe Lucas did all the work on this,” he said with appreciation. “I basically just said, ‘We’re going to do an ice rink,’ and he said ‘Ok!'” There have been a few tense moments in the construction and a bit of a learning curve in this first year of setup, as water tends to do whatever it wants when it freezes — but so far, so good. There are a couple of benches and picnic tables set up nearby for visitors. Pletchette said there have also been lots of good ideas to consider for future years: Christmas lights on the nearby trees, a light to allow for safe skating at night, music playing, a warming shelter, a restroom — but not yet. “One step at a time!” he emphasized. Yet this season, though, possibly even in the next couple of weeks, there could be some special public skating events offered with hot chocolate and burn barrels, at least. And Jaysson Gurwell may set up some goals on the ice and organize some hockey play opportunities. Sounds like fun, and a great start! Watch the WPRD Facebook page for more information on those events and programs as they develop.
There aren’t many community events planned this weekend, of course, but the kids will be out of school on Friday, and the Winterset Public Library is hosting a Polar Express Pajama Party that afternoon:
Also, the Winterset United Methodist Church will be hosting its 25th Live Nativity on Thursday and Friday, December 22nd and 23rd, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm each evening. Bethlehem’s address is 1145 West Summit, which is the acreage and home of inn keeper Robert LaFollette.
Visitors are asked to park on Summit (there is plenty of shoulder space there), approach the inn through the front gate and follow the luminaries. Knock when you reach the door of the inn, and innkeeper Robert will direct you to a group of shepherds by an open fire. The shepherds will tell you what they’ve seen and heard, and lead you to the stable. Along the way, you’re likely to hear singing angels! When you get to the barn, which was built in the 1860’s, you will enter a stone basement stable. Here you will be greeted by the sights and smells of ponies, horses, and goats — some sleeping, some not. In the very back corner you will find what you’ve been seeking: Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. Visitors may quietly observe the family, or talk with them quietly if the baby isn’t sleeping. After your visit, the shepherds will guide you back to the inn. Rumor has it that the following families will be present on the following nights:
Thursday, December 22
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm — Nate and Krisa Mason and daughter Lily
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm — Brad and Kristin Robinson and daughter Shay
Friday, December 23
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm — Aaron and Jacci Taylor and daughter Hannah
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm — Cary and Crystal Jackson and daughter Daphne
Christmas Eve Services
Many of our local churches have special Christmas Eve services planned, and since Christmas falls on Sunday, Christmas Day worship service times may be different in some cases also. Here is a list of what has been shared with me to pass along to you.
Church of the Nazarene will have Christmas Day service at 10:45 am, at 418 W. Summit.
Grace Baptist Church has been invited to attend the Christmas Eve service at New Bridge Church (1305 W. Jefferson) at 6:00 pm. They will have a Christmas Day service at Grace at 10:00 am (703 W. Green St.).
Faith Lutheran (LC-MS) will have a 5:00 pm service on Christmas Eve and regular service time of 10:30 am on Christmas Day. Services are held at Zion Church on the Madison County Historical Complex property, 815 S. 2nd Ave.
First Christian Church will have Candlelight Services at 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day worship service will be held at 10:00 am; 103 W. Green St.
First United Methodist Church will have a candlelight service with communion at 8:00 pm on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, they will have a Christmas dinner available. For an off-site meal, you may pick up your meal from 11:00 am—11:30 am at the church at 309 East Jefferson Street, or deliveries are available in the Winterset city limits. Then, they will begin to gather in the fellowship hall at 11:30 am with a brief communion service at 11:40 am. The dine-in meal will begin at noon. The menu will be: ham ball, potato casserole, green beans with bacon, roll, salad and apple pie. There is no cost for this meal. Please make reservations by calling Phyllis Kaldenberg at 462-4731. Located at 309 E. Jefferson St.
First United Presbyterian Church worship times are 7:00 pm on Christmas Eve and 9:00 am on Christmas Day; 210 W. Green St.
Foursquare Gospel Church will have a Christmas Eve service at 6:00 pm and Christmas Day service at 9:00 am, at 224 E. Court.
New Bridge Church will have a Christmas Eve service at 6:00 pm, and Christmas Day service at 10:15 am; 1305 W. Jefferson.
Redeemer Church invites you to attend their Christmas Eve worship in the Winterset High School auditorium at 6:30 pm, and again at 10:00 am on Christmas Day.
St. Joseph Catholic Church will hold Christmas Mass at 4:00 pm and midnight on Christmas Eve, and 9:30 am on Christmas Day; 1026 N. 8th Ave.
St. Paul Lutheran Church (ELCA) will have Christmas Eve worship services at 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Christmas Eve, and 10:00 am on Christmas Day. Located at 1120 N. 8th Ave.
Winterset Community Church is planning Christmas Eve service at 6:30 pm and a Christmas Day service at 10:45 am; 113 W. 2nd St.
Word of Life Family Church will have a Christmas Day worship service at 9:00 am., four miles south on Hwy. 169.
Here are a few events to look forward to in 2017:
Also, remember that The Winterset Stage is currently offering registration for their Children’s Theater Class, which will start in early January. This class is the cornerstone educational offering of the organization, and would make a great gift (in the form of a gift certificate) for any young person who’d like to get involved. Call to reserve a spot for your 1st through 9th grader, and give them something to look forward to in 2017.
All community announcements on The Winterset Citizen are posted at no charge, courtesy of the following sponsors:
American State Bank
Angel Wings & CT
Blanchard Family Dentistry
Bridges Financial Associates
Covered Bridge Realty
Daniel Evans, Edward Jones
Farmers & Merchants State Bank
Farm Bureau FS, Scot Clark
Groth’s Gardens & Greenhouses
Homefront Real Estate
Lowe Chiropractic Clinic
Madison County Health Care System
Madison County Historical Society
Madison County ISU Extension & Outreach
Midwest Heritage Bank
Newcastle Home Builders
Pine Creek Ltd.
Rusty Stars Alpacas
State Farm, Charlotte Speer
Union State Bank
White Lions Bed & Breakfast
Winterset Ballet & Dance Studio
Winterset Optimist Club
Winterset Parks & Recreation Department
Have a wonderful Christmas weekend, and thank you for reading The Winterset Citizen.