The Edge Ice Center celebrated its 10-year anniversary Saturday with an open skate beginning at 1 p.m. Since opening in 2009, a total of 260,457 people have skated during public sessions.
The City of Owensboro’s Recreation Superintendent Kerry Bodenheimer was at the rink greeting families and skaters. She said that she could not believe they were hosting a 10-year celebration.
“Where have the years gone?” Bodenheimer said.
The Edge is open 12 months a year, enabling the hockey season and figure skating programs to be year-round opportunities and allowing the skates to be very competitive, Bodenheimer said.
“Owensboro Youth Hockey has seen significant growth thanks to the new year-round facility,” Bodenheimer said. “The travel program and high school program are both additions thanks to the locker room facilities we now have that were not in existence with the old ice arena.”
Owensboro Youth Hockey has an average 250 youth skating throughout the year, and travel teams from across the midwest are typically in Owensboro every other weekend from mid-September to mid-February, according to Bodenheimer.
Jason Link, the President of Owensboro Youth Hockey said that the G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Learn) program, which is linked with the Nashville Predators, offers boys and girls ages four to nine to experience hockey without the cost of purchasing the equipment.
There is also a 6-week Learn to Play hockey program where players learn the skill set they need for hockey, Link said.
“We are always looking for young skaters and anyone interested in playing,” Link said.
The annual skating competition that the Edge hosts, now in its eighth year, attracts on average 100 skaters each year from Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Alabama.
“The economic impact generated by hockey games, figure skating and the skating competition last year was $534,620,” Bodenheimer said.
Olivia McPherson has been figure skating for six years and the last three, she has been part of the Owensboro Figure Skating Club. At 14, she practices two days a week and competes locally and in other arenas.
Rylee Cox and Bonnie Beth Olsen both skate competitively as well as work at the Edge.
“It is good to have this facility and a place to practice our art form,” said Olsen, who has been skating since age three.
The Edge also offers a summer day camp program that coordinates with the Parks and Recreation Administration Center summer program. Those at the Edge focuses on ice sports, with the campers either learning to skate or expanding already-learned skills.
“This past summer we had 123 children registered,” Bodenheimer said.
Schools and church groups also visit the Edge regularly, Bodenheimer said, as a recreational activity for their students and members. They also host over 275 birthday parties each year.
Along with programs, the Edge also offers themed events throughout the year, including a New Year’s Eve glow skate a Star Wars-themed glow skate, a Halloween skate, Frozen at the Edge princess skate, superhero skate and last year’s extremely-popular Polar Express Experience, which attracted almost 500 skaters. New for this year is a daddy-daughter princess skate night.
“Our events appeal to all ages and are extremely popular,” Bodenheimer said.
Information about all Edge programs, including the themed skate events, is available at the Edge Ice Center webpage.
Bodenheimer said the next ten years will see new programs for all ages while continuing to be “the coolest place in town.”