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Galt Arena Gardens brings back roller skating for centennial

Cambridge residents were feeling nostalgic Saturday roller skating around the same rink they used to skate on as children

Celebrating its centennial birthday Saturday, Galt Arena Gardens reopened their roller skating rink for free to the public to celebrate.

Bringing back the nostalgia of rolling around the same rink as a kid, pre-registration for the event was fully booked, said Dean Bevans the supervisor for the arena. 

"It's coming back! When we announced we were doing it we had 900 people who were interested."

Bevans learned to skate in the rink himself as a kid, helping him with his hockey playing later on.

"I'm very happy to see it doing well. I see parents out there with their little guys, it's great.

"It's been a part of all arenas in the past and a big part of this one so that is why we brought it back."

All three of their time slots from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 18 had hundreds of pre-registered people bringing skates they owned or renting a pair.

"Roller skating kind of went away but I think it came back, we're booked solid and we have more days planned coming up."

Cambridge residents can sign up to skate for future dates planned on Saturday, June 25, July 9 and July 16.

"It just brings the community together and people get to come down here and enjoy themselves. It creates some good memories, that's what we need right now after going through what we went through," says Bevans.

Galt Arena Gardens was quiet during the last two years of the pandemic. It became empty quickly, which was unusual for the arena and Bevans to see.

"It's noisy today which is good, its what it's here for."

Rachel Fraser, manager of sport recreation and culture for the City of Cambridge was thrilled with the turnout Saturday.

"We've had a number of people even telling us that 44 years ago they were out there skating themselves, so they are going to do that again today. They were so excited to share that with us. It's been so much fun."

Roller skating events have picked up in the region over the last year or so after the activity became trendy again. 

Crystal Faria brought her mother in-law, Amy Gardener, out to skate Saturday after the two saw the post on social media.

"I haven't been in over 15 years," mentioned Faria.

"We haven't been roller skating in so long. I used to go all the time as a kid and a young adult," added Gardener. 

"It's definitely bringing back some nostalgia for me."

Both hit the ice together Saturday afternoon, enjoying the ability to skate in the arena again. 

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Justine Fraser

About the Author: Justine Fraser

Justine joined CambridgeToday in March of 2022 as a social issues reporter. She enjoys living in the city (and walking her giant white dog!). A camera is never far from her hand.
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