Ice skaters take to rink at Watson Park

Few skaters swirling around the seasonal ice rink in Watson Park may realize they are gliding across more than 35,000 gallons of frozen water.

Kyle Fox, director of Merrimack’s Public Works Department, recently said the ice rink offers a welcome wintertime outdoor activity. He credits Highway Division crew members Greg Blecharczyk, foreman, plus Bob Burley and Lou Lapointe, equipment operators, for the seasonal installation and maintenance.

“The ice rink at Watson Park gives Merrimack residents a place to enjoy some quality outside time with their friends and family,” Fox said, “It is an opportunity for outdoor recreation when many other facilities are closed for the winter.”

The frozen slab measures 120 feet by 78 feet with ice 6-inches thick. Bright lights illuminate the white expanse from dusk until 9 p.m. Benches are plentiful.

Merrimack’s Sarah Cameron watched daughters Keira, 6, and Kylie, 9, as they tested their balance and speed. The potential Olympians rounded a corner as Cameron said, “They’re learning to skate in a safe environment.”

Meanwhile, some of the Kahn family were on hand. Dad Jeff and his son, Noah, 15, a freshman at Merrimack High School, along with another son, Xavier “X-Man” Khan, age 4, braved temps of 23 degrees to have some fun.

Elsewhere, the MacIsaac clan of mom Suzanne, along with Liam 14, Patrick, 11, Connor, 8, and Charlotte, 5, did the roundy-round with Peyton Connelly, a 13-year-old friend.

Moriah Rezaoui, 12, a Merrimack Middle School student, glided past with arms extended and best foot forward. Nearby, Seiler Demaccio, 14, a freshman at MHS, fired off some pucks with his brother Carter, 12, a sixth-grade student in Merrimack.

Lisa Markarian watched as her son, Nolan, age 6, cut across the ice and stopped short to spray a cloud of crystals and return a puck from Blake Olson, also age 6. The Merrimack friends since preschool wore Boston Bruins gear. Markarian said the boys play youth hockey and “love to practice” outdoors.

“We appreciate all the work Merrimack DPW does to keep the rink open each winter,” Markarian said. “We owe it all to this wonderful town of Merrimack for making it happen for our community each year.”

Information on weather closures at the skate-at-your-own-risk ice rink in Watson Park, 411 Daniel Webster Highway, can be found on Facebook from Merrimack Parks and Recreation or by calling 603-882-1046.