Irish Figure Skating Club at NIBCO Ice and Water Park on opening day

ELKHART, Ind (WNDU) Happening Saturday... The community gathered in downtown Elkhart to celebrate the holidays.

Folks in Elkhart got into the holiday spirit by warming up with the annual "ugly sweater" run and watching the lighted parade making its ways downtown. People have enjoyed these traditions for years, but parade watching and charity jogs are things people can do year round. That's when I saw the Irish Figure Skating Club doing something you can only do in the winter.

The Irish Figure Skating club is breaking in the ice at the NIBCO Water and Ice Park on their first open day of the season.

Some of these skaters said this outdoor rink is where they fell in love with the sport.

“It's really cool because I think we've been doing this for the past three years now and it's just so much fun every time. I love seeing all the little kids skating and just everyone. Again, because this is the first place I came skating it's just really fun to do every year,” said Irish Figure Skating Club skater Anna Tibbitts.

“I started skating here originally since I was really little. I started competitively skating when I was eight and now I'm almost fourteen so it's been like six years,” said Irish Figure Skating Club skater Lauren White.

The Irish normally skate out at the Ice Box, but they say an opportunity to skate outdoors is too good to pass up.

“It's really fun. I really love skating outdoors because I love cold weather,” White said.

“It's a good opportunity in the winter to come here because I personally love outdoor skating and this place is a great place to come outdoor skating,” Tibbitts said.

Making the most out of the cold times of the year.

The rink was open from 12:00-5:00pm Saturday, but they opened it up again for the Irish skaters and the general public in the evening to honor Ralph Hartnagel, a longtime volunteer of the ice park.