Just in time for its annual New Year’s Eve event, Skate the Lake, Evergreen Lake in the foothills west of Denver will open for ice-skating on Thursday.
Warm temperatures threatened the start of the ice-skating season in Evergreen, an experience fondly remembered by generations of Coloradans, but cold weather finally arrived to provide safe ice.
The lake will be open for skating on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday, skating will be restricted to the Skate the Lake event (3-8 p.m.). Special tickets, priced at $25, are required for the event which will include games with prizes, a broomball exhibition, fire pits, food and a 30-minute laser show.
“The big thing for us is that at 7 o’clock, we’ve got the first-ever laser show over the lake,” said Pam Lindquist, Lake House facilities specialist for the Evergreen Park & Recreation District. “It’s going to be quite amazing.”
Daily prices for skating are $10 per person. Rentals are priced at $7.
Because ice has tended to form later in recent years than in the past, Evergreen officials designed the Skate the Lake event to take place whether skating could be offered or not. Lindquist said they realize it may be necessary to change the name of the event in the not-too-distant future.
“I grew up here, and I can tell you that we never worried about viable ice on New Year’s Eve,” Lindquist said. “Because of global warming, we are starting to not have the kind of cold weather we were used to when I grew up. We are absolutely pleased that Mother Nature has given us this cold weather, and will give us cold weather the next couple of day, so we can have (Skate the Lake) on the ice.”
In the winter of 2019, ice-skating was possible only five days, even though Evergreen Lake benefits from being at a higher elevation than Denver at 7,000 feet.
“Our ability to skate has been eroded over the years, for sure,” Lindquist said. “In the ‘70s even the ‘80s, you could always count on ice-skating opening mid-December, and you could count on ice skating lasting until the end of March, easily. Just like the ski areas are experiencing — you’ve got that organization Protect Our Winters — we’re seeing it not get cold enough until well into January in some cases.”
Evergreen’s annual Lake Plunge will take place New Year’s Day at noon. The lake will open for skating that day at 3 p.m.
Normal operating hours for ice skating are 3-7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
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