photo courtesy of David J. Murray/ClearEyePhoto.com
Despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the seasonal outdoor ice skating rink at Strawbery Banke Museum, Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is, weather permitting, scheduled to open for its 7th season on Friday, November 27th at 9 AM.
Since the decision to move forward with the rink and “keep Portsmouth skating,” Rink Services Group has spent weeks working with crews of specialists to install the chiller (Trane) and fire pit (provided by Proulx Oil & Propane), assembling the ice liner and coolant tubes and building the surrounding rail fence. Additionally, Strawbery Banke Museum and Rink Services Group have worked carefully to establish protocols and precautionary measures that follow the guidelines of CDC, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and the City of Portsmouth Health Department.
“It takes a village each year to make ice skating at Strawbery Banke a reality. This year brought even more coordinating challenges,” said Lawrence J. Yerdon, President and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum. “The trustees, rink committee, and the museum staff felt that reopening the rink for the upcoming season was more important than ever. The museum and key partners have focused intently on establishing safety protocols and precautions to maintain the health and safety of skaters.”
The protocols for skating are consistent with the precautions Strawbery Banke has followed all season: All visitors to the museum are required to maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from others outside their households at all times, practice frequent hand hygiene/washing, and wear a cloth face covering over mouth and nose, both on and off the ice. Additionally, the museum has taken extra precautions in terms of cleaning, sanitizing, and ensuring the proper space for physical distancing in rink spaces, which includes increasing the size of the outdoor patio. For more information regarding the museum’s COVID-19 precautions, visit strawberybanke.org