Thanks to nanomaterials and the sheer will to power that is the Holiday in the Park Christmas lights extravaganza, you can now get the full seasonal experience with ice skating in Elmer Thomas Park.

The skating rink is located on the concrete pad east of the Holiday House off the Northwest 3rd Street entrance to the park from Ferris Avenue.

For this year’s Holiday in the Park, the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce is providing the seasonal skating rink through the holiday season. The rink, provided by Xtraice Rinks, allows skaters to learn their way on blades without the messy waste found with conventional ice rinks.

“It’s synthetic ice,” said Dr. Krista Ratliff, Chamber CEO/President. “It’s using new technology used by hockey teams for their practice facilities.”

“But, what is synthetic ice?” you’re probably wondering at this point.

According to the Xtraise website, the ice is composed of polyethylene with the highest molecular density. Coupled with the ice panels, it provides a self-lubricated surface and provides a smooth gliding experience.

That’s all fine and good. But how well does it work out for the skaters?

As Sarah Whitman skated by, she provided a thumbs up to the experience. Her father, Scott, was seated at a table for guests who want to see what the action is about but don’t want to venture out on blades. The Whitmans traveled from Cyril for the experience.

“We wanted to see how the skating rink is,” he said.

Although enjoying the vicarious role of participation, Whitman declined the first-hand experience.

“No,” he said. “I break a hip and it’s gone.”

Although broken hips are discouraged, there will be some bone jarring action on the ice for the upcoming Saturday and those to follow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each weekend.

The Holiday in the Park Winter Classic hockey matches will take place. The teams will be split amongst Fort Sill Hockey Club players for action akin to 3-on-3-basketball. Except it will be on the ice and biscuits (pucks) will replace balls..

Written by Scott Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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