The new synthetic ice rink at the corner of Main and Spring Streets in Buckhannon. (Katie Kuba / My Buckhannon file photo)

Ice, Ice, Buckhannon! Downtown gets frosty fun with new synthetic ice rink just in time for band bonanza

BUCKHANNON — Downtown Buckhannon just got a lot cooler with the installation of a new synthetic ice rink at the junction of Main and Spring Streets.

Local businessman Travis Foster purchased the rink as part of his efforts to revitalize the Main Street lot, which had been vacant since a devastating fire in 2021 destroyed the previous building.

While the ice rink will primarily be a fall and winter attraction, Foster and Marc Kohn, president and CEO of USA Synthetic Rinks — the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company that supplied the rink — raced to get it installed in time for the World Association of Marching Show Bands competition being held in town this week.

Because of that time crunch, Foster said the pristine new synthetic surface he purchased was not ready, but Kohn came to the rescue with panels from other rinks that will be used for WAMSB.

The rink is set to open on Thursday, offering a place to skate, play hockey, or simply chill out during the busy weekend. With festivities spilling over to Butera’s Italian Grill and Brokz Beer Garden, Foster’s venture promises to add a whole new dimension to Buckhannon’s eventful summer.

A timelapse video of the rink installation.

Foster and his employees are holding a private event to test the rink on Wednesday evening before it opens to the public on Thursday. The hours and times are:

  • Thursday, July 20, 4 pm – 11 pm
  • Friday, July 21, 4 pm – 11 pm
  • Saturday, July 22, 11 am – 11 pm

A day pass will cost $20, but you can get $5 off if you like, follow and share the Foster’s Marketing Group Facebook page. Skate rentals are included in the price, or you can bring your own. Cash only this weekend!

“We’ve purchased over 130 skate rentals,” Foster said. “However, the company that we’re working with is bringing another 100. The sizes of the skates range from 6 kids to 13 adult, but a size 6 kids can fit a three-year-old.”

The skates available for rental are specially designed for synthetic ice, with a smaller blade to minimize friction. They’ll be disinfected after use by Bacteria Busters Pro.

For the WAMSB event, Foster opted to separate the rink into two sections, a larger free skate area and a smaller rink for kids to play hockey. NHL panels surround both areas, and overhead lighting will allow the rink to be open after dark.

Foster offered a few tips to anyone seeking to skate: wear socks, come with an adult if you’re under 10 years old, and bring your own helmets, which are recommended but not required.

Foster said he hopes to have a hockey league in the winter.

“We want to do an adult league, like a 4-on-4, and then we’re talking about doing intramurals and something for kids,” he said. “We are also opening it up to private parties, and it can be mobile — we can bring the rink to you.”

In addition to the new synthetic ice rink, Foster has a few other fun plans for the WAMSB weekend. For adults, Brokz Beer Garden will again be open around the corner in Trader’s Alley, and a former local restaurant will be making a surprise limited-time return.

Butera’s Italian Grill, previously located at the Buckhannon Country Club, will be serving food for those enjoying either the beer garden or ice skating, Foster said. The beer garden hours are similar to the ice rink, except closing an hour earlier at 10 p.m., and Foster said wine will also be on the menu due to high demand.

As you enjoy the WAMSB events around town this weekend, be sure to stop by the corner of Main and Spring Streets for a vibrant spot to skate, engage in a game of hockey or simply unwind amidst the event’s bustling atmosphere.

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