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First skaters hit the ice at SteelStacks

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Julian Abraham
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LehighValleyNews.com
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms mascot, "MeLVin," pumps up the crowd before they hit the ice.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The new skating rink in Bethlehem's SteelStacks opened up Tuesday, officially marked by a ribbon cutting—giant scissors and all.

Speaking at the red carpet podium on the ice was the mayor of Bethlehem, executives of the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), and ArtsQuest staff.

  • The Ice Rink at SteelStacks opened Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Bethlehem
  • It is open daily, including holidays, until New Year's Day
  • Tickets range from $7-15. Some include skate rentals
  • More information is available on the ice rink website

Tuesday's opening was billed as a media event, but health care workers and their families were also invited, along with former patients of the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children's Hospital.
"I will keep this quick so we can get these kids skating," said Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds. "What a wonderful day here in Bethlehem, and what a great addition here for the city of Bethlehem."
"One of the special things about our community is that people are able to make memories that will last a lifetime every single day of the year," Reynolds said. "And this is another addition to that ability in Bethlehem."

First time on the ice

After a pump-up session from the mascot of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, "MeLVin," the kids, who had been waiting for about half an hour, finally got to hit the ice.

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Julian Abraham
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LehighValleyNews.com
Zachary and Hayden lace up their skates before becoming some of the very first to skate on the SteelStacks Ice Rink.

Friends Zachary Rissmiller and Hayden Mravlag came to the ice rink with Rissmiller's grandmother Ginger Rissmiller, who is an LVHN nurse.

"I've never done it before, but I have roller-bladed," Rissmiller said. "Rollerblading's easy, but skating might be hard."

Mravlag said he plays football, so he knows a bit about running around fast. As for Rissmiller, he was a bit nervous to try skating but still looking forward to the challenge. Mravlag helped him as he got onto the ice, and after about 10 minutes, Rissmiller appeared to begin to get the hang of it.

Mravlag said he was confident that Rissmiller would improve his skating skills.

"That's like, how the best hockey players in the world, how they learned to play. Like they had to come from the ground up, and I'm sure he can do that as well."
Hayden Mravlag, one of the first kids ice skating

"I mean, practice makes perfect," Mravlag said. "That's like, how the best hockey players in the world, how they learned to play. Like they had to come from the ground up, and I'm sure he can do that as well."

After about 30 minutes, Rissmiller was able to skate in a straight line. Taking a break, he looked winded but proud of himself for trying something new.

"Everything hurts," he said with a laugh. "I hate ice skating."

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Alan Lu
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LehighValleyNews.com
Mravlag was confident that Rissmiller would improve his skating skills.

Just when he started to say he would not try it again, Mravlag came and patted him on the shoulder, saying, "I will put you on my shoulders and throw you on that ice."

"Okay well I will if I have to," Rissmiller replied. Both laughed.

A little later, after some encouragement and tips, Rissmiller was skating around with Mravlag and able to keep up nicely.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 22, the ice rink in the Steel Stacks is scheduled to be open every day — including holidays — until New Year's Day.

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