SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane Parks and Recreation department announced Tuesday afternoon that the Riverfront Park Ice Ribbon will not reopen this season. According to the department, they are unable to make new ice because of the warmer temperatures.
City of Spokane Parks Director Leroy Eadie made the announcement Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
“We are very disappointed that we couldn’t get the ice to hold so we could re-open for the community this month,” said Leroy Eadie, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Spokane. “We hoped we could provide more of the ice skating experience this season that the community enjoyed so much. The good news is that we now have a functioning system for ice next season, and we learned some important lessons about how the system works best. Now, we are focused on providing spring recreation opportunities for citizens on The Ribbon, and opening the south bank attractions over the next two months.”
A vessel that connects to a compressor developed a crack in it in early February and needed to be replaced. Without this equipment, staff at the ice ribbon have been unable to maintain ice, and existing ice was removed from the ribbon.
The entire system was re-evaluated. According to Eadie, the City wanted to make ice again to make sure the system works this year, rather than waiting until next fall. They have determined that everything is in order for next year, but the ice ribbon will not open again this year because they cannot make ice from scratch with the warm temperatures.
The ribbon was originally set to close on March 4. Riverfront Spokane will be extending all Unlimited Passes for an additional 30 days at the beginning of the 2018/2019 ice season. Unlimited Pass holders can also choose to renew next season and receive a 25 percent discount off a new pass.
Fencing is now surrounding the North Bank along the Promenade, which will close the Howard Street pedestrian bridges, including the blue bridge through fall 2018. Detours through the park will take visitors either across the suspension bridges or the Washington Street bridge. Parking Lot 2 will remain accessible for a time, but will be closed for construction later this spring/summer. The Centennial Trail detour will remain open for access. You can find a map of detours here.
The warmer weather will bring other activities to the ribbon and rest of Riverfront Park. The SkyRide will re-open, with a new shared ticketing facility next to the ribbon. There will be free admission to roller skating on the ribbon, which could begin as early as mid-April. There will also be free weekly family-friendly activities, including:
- Roller skating lessons
- Yoga on the bridge
- Evening Jazzercise on the ribbon
- Parkour and break dancing lessons
- Art classes
- Sunday Funday with crafts, a bouncy castle, and kids activities
There will also be a Berry Go Round amusement ride on the pond. The rest of the South Bank along Spokane Falls Boulevard will also be re-opening, including the Looff Carrousel, Howard Street Bridge South, and Rotary Fountain.
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