The town Christmas tree located at the downtown skating plaza has been righted with a stronger steel base after being blown down over the weekend, however, the ice is not ready ready for skating.
The tree was toppled by strong winds, along with other trees in the area. No one was on the ice at the time.
The new base is a “much larger and heavier steel … that has securely anchored the tree back into place, ensuring it can withstand future windstorms,” stated a news release Dec. 22.
The plaza has not officially opened and the town is asking that residents stay off the ice at the skating plaza as well as at the Lions Centennial Park skating trail until they are open for public use.
Town recreation coordinator Andrew Jones says they’re hoping the ice will be ready by the end of December, but added that if people skate on the ice before it is thick enough, it will damage the ice surface and delay the opening of the facilities.
Signs are posted at both places, reminding residents that the ice is not yet ready for use. When the plaza and skating trails are ready, an official announcement will be made that they’re open for public use.
Both facilities are for public skating only. Hockey will not be permitted.
The East District Fire Department members are donating their time and equipment to work with Town of Ponoka winter operations crews to build the plaza and skating trail.
They will continue flooding the ice surfaces as needed through the winter.
– With a file from the Town of Ponoka