Despite a warm winter, Fairfax Ice Arena sees many skaters in its public skating hours on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Hannah Zhou, a 4-year-old Vienna resident, went to the Fairfax Ice Arena with her mother Lucy, for the first time since her first skating lesson. “She’s telling me she wants to come back, more than twice a week,” Zhou said. “She watched ‘Frozen’ and said, I want to be like Elsa!”
A recreational place to many Fairfax residents during the winter, Fairfax Ice Arena serves as the go-to place for competitive skaters and families looking to have a good time. The ice rink, which is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3:45 p.m., offers group and private lessons during the weekdays, allowing skaters to take advantage of the weekends to practice on their own. For some, skating at the rink is a family event. Andrew Chapin, a 43-year-old resident of Fairfax, was joined by sons Eamon, Oliver and Rhys this past Saturday. “Eamon has been skating for 4 years,” Chapin said. “We only live about 2 miles away so it’s a great way to get exercise.”
With the recent opening of the ice rink at Tysons Corner Mall, skaters have more choices available. Mia Nikole, 13, of Vienna, said, “I love skating, I come every weekend and the ice here is smoother.”
Evelyn Berez from Bristow in Prince William County, has worked at the food concession stand at the ice arena for close to 10 years. “I love the kids,” Berez said. “In the last two years, they opened another [rink] around Tysons Corner and Alexandria and Herndon but Fairfax Ice Arena has the best coaches.”
Gary Couzzi, 47, of Haymarket, has worked at Fairfax Ice Arena as a manager for 15 years. He said that the biggest factor in choosing ice rinks is location. “We get a large population right around the area and if you’re close to a rink, you’re going to stick with it,” Couzzi said. “Also, for competitors, we have some of the best coaches - Laurent Depouilly, Kalle Strid and Audrey Weisiger who are world Olympic coaches.”
In addition to frequent visitors, there are those who come to the rink for a special occasion: Nick Vaughn and Cheyenna Obrin, both students at George Mason University, went to the ice rink on a date. “I thought, why not? It’s the season,” said Vaughn. Obrin said, “He only fell once.”
See Public Skating Hours at http://www.fairfaxicearena.com/public-skating.