West Mankato resident setting up neighborhood ice rink

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:54 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - West Mankato residents will soon be able to lace up their skates and hit the ice thanks to a dedicated neighbor.

For 22 years, Jed Falgren has assembled an ice rink in Dotson Park.

Falgren said, “It’s a great way for the neighborhood to get together, and we are certainly appreciative of those who began this many, many years ago.”

It’s a tradition that dates back 75 years. It was first started by the Dotson family, who previously owned Falgren’s home.

“They had built the community park out of what was a Victory Garden during the war, and part of that was, in the winter, they were gonna have an ice rink set up,” he added.

Falgren took on the tradition upon purchasing the home in 2000.

Each year, he teams up with kids in the neighborhood to transform the park into a winter wonderland.

Falgren mentioned, “It’s fun to have them involved throughout the winter season. Shoveling, cleaning up, chasing the leaves out, whatever it might take.”

Nearby residents loop around the rink alongside outside visitors.

“The kids get together and they’ll play hockey games, and they’ll just skate around. They have all sorts of fun,” Falgren stated.

Falgren said it’s special to see kids forming the same holiday memories that older generations did years ago.

“To give back to a neighborhood, to be able to be involved and to have these young kids get so excited is so thrilling.”

The rink’s walls were set up this week, but Falgren said the project is on hold until temperatures drop.

“We put in almost 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water, once we know it’s gonna get cold enough, and then it takes a few days for the ice to get thick enough, and we’re ready to go,” Falgren explained.

The rink will stay open until spring or as long as the weather permits.

Copyright 2021 KEYC. All rights reserved.