‘Tis the season for winter sports, including ice skating, and now locals won't have to drive far out of town to test their skills on the slippery surface as locals Ron and Karen Macedo have made ice skating in Turlock a reality.
It was a long time coming - process that has been in the works since January- but on Friday R.A.M Farms launched Fields of Ice, a seasonal skating rink and Christmas tree lot. The opening drew in locals as well as families visiting from Southern California to Modesto with a wide range of ages. Fields of Ice drew several first-time skaters but also a few veterans, such as Robert Johnson, a 75-year-old Hilmar native and current speed and in-line skater.
"I've been skating since I was 4 and have always gone to Stockton, Long Barn, or Dublin so this is wonderful. There are people here who have never had skates on in their life and they're falling and learning and it's just great," said Johnson.
Johnson purchased 10 ice skating sessions for $80 and said he will certainly be returning for the good quality ice. He also largely credited the Macedos for undertaking the venture, acknowledging the risk the couple incurred to provide the community its first ice rink.
"This is the best thing I've seen in the community in a long time," said Joanne Adams, who brought her daughters and granddaughter to opening day.
The Macedos initially conceived of the idea to put in an ice rink after the success of their R.A.M. Farms pumpkin patch and corn maze.
"We enjoyed the pumpkin patch and maze and it just seemed like a natural progression," said Karen.
The Macedos didn't stop at an ice rink, but included a Christmas tree lot providing several varieties of trees for sale from the Willammette Valley in Orgeon including Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Douglas Fir and Grand Fir ranging from 4 to 14 feet tall. Santa Clause will also be making an appearance for photo opportunities the first three weekends in December from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hot coffee and drinks are available for purchase and Fields of Ice is also equipped to host birthday parties and groups of 25 or more can rent the facility Mondays through Thursdays.
Fields of Ice is located at 716 N. Daubenberger Road at Canal Drive and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., except for Christmas and New Year's Day. Skating costs $10 regular admission and $8 for children 12 and under Monday through Thursday. Friday through Sunday regular admission is $12 and children are $10. Individuals can also purchase a stamp card worth 10 individual skating sessions for $80.
Fields of Ice is made possible by local sponsors and those interested in sponsoring can contact Ron or Karen Macedo at 649-6885. More information is available on R.A.M Farms website and Facebook page which can be accessed at ramfarms.com or https://www.facebook.com/turlockfieldsofice.