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Historic Folsom ice rink open

By: Jim Ratajczak, The Telegraph
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The third time was the charm Wednesday morning as Folsom’s Historic Sutter Street ice skating rink finally opened to an enthused crowd eager for the holiday spirit. The rink, which suffered two opening day delays because of unusually warm weather, is the city’s first. Local dignitaries including Mayor Eric King, Folsom Police Department Chief Sam Spiegel and former mayor Bob Holderness took center ice to kick things off. While they expressed excitement with Folsom’s latest family friendly activity, they made no bones about hoping the rink would help spark consumer interest during these troubled economic times. “We decided that, with the tough economy, we needed to have people shop in Folsom, live and play in Folsom,” said Holderness. And although the rink has been open for only a few hours, local businesses are optimistic about the rink’s potential impact on Sutter Street. “I absolutely do think it’s going to help,” said Jim Snooks of Snooks Candies. “The build up to this has been exciting. People have been coming in non-stop asking, ‘When is it going to open? When is it going to open?’” Mayor King addressed the crowd and said the city hopes to build on the momentum provided by the skating rink. “The Sutter and Historic District is just going to get better and better in the future,” he said. “I’m very excited about it.” This particular ribbon-cutting even lacked the traditional pair of massive scissors. Instead, the ribbon was ripped apart by a Zamboni. A cheer went up from the audience and the rink was officially open for business. For city planners and skaters alike, Wednesday was a long time coming. “I like it. I like it a lot,” said Folsom resident Matt Richmond. Richmond and his family are responsible for conceiving the idea for a skating rink on Sutter Street. “It was just something to bring the community together, to get people in the holiday mood,” he said. The project was proposed to the city council during public comment on Oct. 14. Two weeks later, with seed money from various business groups, the city council approved the project and even pitched in money to help make it happen. Using Redevelopment Agency funds, the rink group received a $25,000 economic development grant and a $25,000 loan. Within days, the rink was under construction. And now that skating season has officially arrived in Folsom, many residents plan on sharing the experience with loved ones. “We were excited to hear about the ice rink,” said resident Marko Mlikotim, who brought his two young children to the opening festivities. “I think it reinforces what a great family community Folsom is. That’s evident by the number of families out here today.”