This time of year the main attraction at Howard Park is the skating pond and new ice trail. The city brought in a big name to inaugurate the ice during a re-opening event Friday.
Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Brian Boitano entertained visitors and created a new skating move for one well-known resident.
“Boot, edge, edge is a skating term. We have a boot and we have a blade with two edges on it. So I thought as a tribute to you we would make a move called the boot, edge, edge!”
Boitano said he’d make it pretty easy in case the Mayor’s not good on skates. “Slap your boot and you go, edge, edge.” He demonstrated with some help from South Bend Venues, Parks and Arts employees.
The park’s renovation is the biggest single project in a multi-year overhaul of South Bend’s parks system.
The new park includes the refrigerated and removable skating pond and ice trail, an accessible playground, and indoor and outdoor community and events spaces.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the park is a shining example of what South Bend can be. “Here where we stand is a park that will be the crown jewel of the city of South Bend for decades and generations to come thanks to your support.”
Cheryl Ashbough lives downtown. She was at the playground with her daughter and grandchildren from Edwardsburg. She said she was glad to finally use the park. “We’ve been watching the progress of the park and we’re so excited that it’s open!”
Howard Park is open for ice skating throughout the winter and it will be the site of the River Lights music festival in June.