(NECN: Kristen Carosa) – It’s been a successful inaugural season for the Worcester Common Oval. Wednesday, the city showed its appreciation to the people and businesses who made it happen.
There are memories in the making for one local mom and daughter. Becky and Ruby Abbott skated, or at least tried to, for the very first time in Worcester, Mass.
“She is doing great, we have gotten half way around, so we have the other half to go,” says Abbott.
There were a lot of first timers on the ice Wednesday.
“I learned about this, I got the kids ready and in the car in 20 minutes it's great,” says Sade Foose.
The Worcester Common Oval has brought the young and old to the ice this season.
The city says 10,000 people to be exact.
“Blew my expectations right out of the water, we knew it would catch on, we knew people would gravitate to it but 10,000 on the oval? Wow,” says City Manager Michael O’Brien.
Private donations made the oval possible: $130,000 in total.
The city is now showing their appreciation to those who have had a hand in the rink's success.
Fallon community health plan is a lead sponsor, one of 35 donors.
“We feel it's important to contribute to the community and we want to help people become healthier and skating is a way to do that,” says Patrick Hughes, CEO of Fallon Community Health Plan.
Many families have come to the Common to skate and spectate. The convenience factor has been the talk of the town.
“It's been so great, before if we wanted to go skating outside we would have to drive all the way to Boston, with two little kids, that is really hard to do,” says Foose.
The 14,000-square-foot rink has been open on weekends and school vacation days. And because of the success, next year is already a go.
“We have learned a lot, we have had some gaps and challenges and we will analyze those and out pieces in place that next year it will be bigger and better, it will be even more successful,” O’Brien says.