The ice may be gone, but there is still plenty of action at the new skating rink in Prospect Park. As the weather turns warmer, the rink is now open for roller skating. Some kids on break from school were among the first to give it a go on the Department of Youth and Community Development's annual "Skate Day." Roger Clark filed the following report.
There were a lot of smiles just like this one at The LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park Thursday. Kids from the Department of Youth and Community Development after school programs were wheeling their way around a brand new roller skating rink.
"It's our commitment for working families who can't afford to take a spring vacation somewhere and can't afford the child care to have somewhere that their children can be safe and can do something fun and learn as well,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.
It was DYCD's ninth annual skate day, held for the first time at the new Prospect Park facility which features two rinks. NY1 was there in December when some other kids first hit the ice. It since has been melted to reveal the roller skating surface below, allowing for wheels instead of blades on one rink and water play on the other one for summer time. Lakeside replaced the old Prospect Park rink, which was strictly a winter venue.
"What's really, really exciting is that we went from what was a four-month facility to a year-round destination and attraction,” said Eric Landau of the Prospect Park Alliance.
"It will be roller skating until mid-October and then again, we’ll take a small transition period and then we will re-ice everything, both rinks. And then there will be ice skating, probably to the end of March,” said Monty Ross of Upsilon Ventures.
But this day was all about rolling around with friends and maybe holding on to the wall for help, but still having a blast.
"It's cool and unlike other roller skating places it has the outdoor feel,” said one young skater.
"The fact that you actually get to move faster than if you were actually running,” said another.
"It's awesome, it's very entertaining,” said a third.
For more information, go to www.lakesidebrooklyn.com.