With a blast of cold sending temperatures plummeting, many Riverhead residents are staying inside and keeping warm.
But, for those who love to lace up their ice skates, the Riverhead ice rink at Stotzky Park will open for the first time on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Thursday will mark the first time that skaters will be able to use the rink since it was installed in January, 2012; temperatures until then have never dropped low enough for the ice to freeze, said Tom Filgate, the Riverhead Town recreation planner.
The rink, made with a liner, was put up again two weeks ago for the 2013 season. "Luckily we got enough cold weather for it to freeze," he said.
The rink, located in Stotzky Park by the skate park, is free; no rental skates are available, however, so those wishing to skate should bring their own. No attendants will be on site.
The rink will be open daily, weather permitting, from 8 a.m. till 9 p.m., with the lights remaining on until 9 p.m.
"Come and have fun -- but come quickly, because if the temperature reaches 40 degrees next week, the rink won't be usable," Filgate said.
At last week's Riverhead town board work session, Councilman George Gabrielsen predicted the coming days would bring temperatures frosty enough to freeze the ice.
"Pray for cold weather," he said.
Otherwise, joked Councilman Jim Wooten, the rink woud make "a nice slip-and-slide."