For 10 years, Roanoke Valley folks who loved to ice skate were frozen out. Roanoke’s only ice-skating rink, the Ice Station, thawed for good in 2006. The Roanoke Civic Center played host to occasional public skating sessions and recreation hockey games, but was never a full-time rink. Hopes for a new skating facility melted with each passing year.

Now, the Roanoke Valley is in the midst of a new Ice Age. Three rinks attract thousands of skaters every winter: the Berglund Center, Elmwood on Ice and the Lancerlot Sports Complex. All three are open this weekend — just when many families are ready to get the children out of the house following a seemingly eternal holiday break.

The Berglund Center will be open for public skating Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Sunday is “Skate with the Dawgs” day, when members of the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs minor league hockey team take to the ice with the general public. Don’t worry, the players promise not to body-check children into the boards.

Dawgs season-ticket holders can get $1 off admission Sunday when they show their season pass at the box office.

The fifth season of outdoor skating at Elmwood on Ice continues this weekend, with afternoon and evening skating available, weather permitting. The popular Ice Slide sledding ramp is also open.

The Lancerlot in Vinton, which opened in 2018, is the valley’s only year-round ice facility. Ice skating availability times vary, so check online at lancerlotsportscomplex.com or call 981-0205 to find out when the public can hit the ice.

These days, when it comes to ice time in the Roanoke Valley, skaters gonna skate.

Ralph Berrier Jr. has worked at The Roanoke Times since 1993, was the paper’s music reporter from 2000-2007 and he currently writes the Dadline parenting column and is a general assignment features reporter.

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