Photo By PAULA MULLER
While his older brother was zipping around the ice at the McVann-O’Keefe Memorial Skating Rink in Peabody on Saturday, Xander Follis, 2, wonders if it’s all such a great idea. His mother Shannon Follis is helping him get his footing.
By JACQLYN CULWELL
PEABODY — What do you do when the holiday hustle of Christmas and New Year’s comes to an end?
Peabody’s James McVann/Louis O’Keefe Memorial Rink offers public skating every day and with the weather being unusually lacking in snow, getting to the rink poses no problem.
Kathy “Kat” Silva, the office manager at the rink, said Saturday that weekends are generally busy.
“Today is one of those days where it’s busy,” she said. “We have three hockey games and a free skate going on. We got a lot of calls asking if we were hosting a public skate today.
“I think that after the holidays kids are just looking for something to do before they get back to school, and the weekends are the perfect time to come in and have some fun.”
Eight year old Emma LeColst of Lynn, accompanied by her grandmother Jan LeColst and friend Chloe Smith from Swampscott, came to the rink to get in some skating time with the new skates she received from Santa on Christmas morning.
“I take classes here to learn how to skate,” she said as she tied the laces on her skates. “The secret to skating, that I’ve found, is that you have to lean forward and really just skate. You don’t want to prevent yourself from falling down”.
Smith, a freshman at Swampscott High, has been skating since she was six. And now that she’s on the dance team, she spends less time perfecting her skating moves and more time helping beginner skaters like Emma learn how to skate.
“I used to skate a lot when I was younger,” she said. “I still want to keep it up for fun and definitely help those who are just starting out.”
Peabody residents Ed and Linda Quinn were also in attendance, looking for some time on the ice.
“I skated throughout junior high and high school. It’s always been something I’ve loved to do,” Ed Quinn said. “During time in the service, I hurt my knee and two years ago I had a knee replacement. This is the first time I’ll be going on the ice since my surgery”.
“I haven’t been on skates since 1970. It’s a big thing to do after such a long time,” his wife said.
“We keep saying ‘Let’s just go.” Last night we decided we’d come down and get on the ice,” Ed Quinn said before stepping out onto the rink.
Public Skating takes place at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m. on weekdays. The fee for adults and children over the age of 8 is $5 and children under 8 pay $3. Seniors can skate for free. The cost for renting skates is $7.