Fanwood Ice Skating Rink to Open This Weekend

There once was a time when Fanwood had an ice-skating rink at LaGrande Park and now it's back.

For most Fanwood residents an unseen feature of the Borough will appear this weekend: the Fanwood ice skating rink.

Many years ago, residents could ice skate in Fanwood’s LaGrande Park, but according to Bob Budiansky, Fanwood's Director of Recreation, the rink has not been in Fanwood for at least over two decades.

The Fanwood Recreation Department will be opening the rink for the first time in decades on Jan. 25.

Located at LaGrande Avenue and Third Street, the rink is a large circular patch of asphalt that the Fanwood Department of Public Works fills with water.

“The circle was resurfaced about a year ago to stop leaks, so now it can be used as an ice rink again,” Budiansky said.

Weather permitting hours are 4-5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 5:30 p.m. on weekends, however these are subject to change.

In a release the Fanwood Recreation Department provided the following information:

The cost is free. Skaters must bring their own skates. Ice-skating is permitted only when an attendant is on duty; all other times the rink gate will be locked. Children nine and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Downtown Neighbor January 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Some memories about the Fanwood La Grande Park Ice Skating Rink from Joseph Pawlick In 1966 I was the attendant being paid $1.25 an hour - ( each subsequent year I got a $.25 raise) - during High school winters I would work close to a 60 hour week at the rink - which included skating behind a wheeled 45 degree angled hand plow starting in the center of the rink and spiraling outward until the skate shavings were up and over the curbing on the rink and also spraying down the ice every evening with a firehose- burr. On Saturday mornings I would get up early and go down to the rink & let myself in - to skate alone on the newly formed ice - during the week we could have as many as 350 people collectively skating at differing hours - the rink generally fit about 100 skaters at a time and they all would skate counter clockwise - then after about two hours we would announce for them to skate in the opposite direction. In beteen rotations we would hand plow the ice. I would also like to have a dollar today for every log I placed in that fire barrell - burned out 5 barrels during my tenure- part of opening up the rink routine included placing two broadcast speakers on the shed roof - and spinning vinyl 33&1/3rd rpm. - the most popular album was the Platters Greatest Hits and Beatles' Rubber Soul - I would put a limit on the volume so as not to disturb the folks living on Marion Ave. One side benefit was talking to many pretty young ladies while I laced up their skates.
Navigator January 26, 2013 at 05:36 PM
I grew up in Fanwood during 50's and 60's. I recall the rink fondly, including many aspects noted in the post above. The rink was a great winter time complement to the summer activities at the Park. I hope all those now in Fanwood will enjoy this addition today. Stay warm !
Just the facts January 26, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Alas, the burning barrel would probably not be permitted in todays Environment....from both a safety and air quality perspective and that is a sad thing. As for the music.....what would you play? Can't see skating to rap or some of the hard rock stuff....maybe that stuff from the 50's and 60's would be just as appropriate today.....my days of balancing on a pair of skates is long over....so hope everyone has a good time and builds similar good memories as those posted above....really love the story and the perspective!
Charlene M. January 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Thanks for the post, Mr. Pawlick. Good stuff.
Nicole Bitette January 27, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Thanks for this story, Downtown Neighbor!


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