CALDWELL, Idaho — Indian Creek Plaza opened in downtown Caldwell in the summer of 2018. Since then, the plaza has become a place for the community to come together.
Every Saturday until February 6, the Sk8 Ribbon Coalition will provide free ice skating lessons in two different sessions to give children a chance to learn a new sport.
"It is the most incredible thing because you take someone who's totally afraid, and by the end of the four sessions, they are skating forward and backward," said Jen Hubler of the Sk8 Ribbon Coalition. "There are so many lessons that apply to life; sometimes you fall down, and you have to get back up."
These lessons have created an opportunity for children to learn a new hobby, and ice skating has helped them get outside during the pandemic.
"I'm very excited to do it," said Kira Manley, who learned how to skate. "This year, because of COVID, I haven't been able to try anything new."
But that's just half of the story. Before the young skaters can even hit the ice, Corey Turner, who works for Destination Caldwell, prepares the surface with a Zamboni.
Turner is also in charge of the system setup up below the stage at Indian Creek Plaza, which features a computerized system that runs saltwater through a labyrinth of pipes under the concrete to keep it cool, so the ice doesn't melt when mother nature doesn't cooperate.
"It would be impossible to have an ice rink ribbon without that stuff," said Turner. "The saltwater doesn't freeze. It goes out of the system at ten degrees and comes back in at 14."
Turner has to do a lot of work to make sure the ice ribbon is ready for skaters, but he tells us it is worth it.
"It's a reward to see the smiles on all the people's faces," said Turner.
Iris Ineck couldn't have been happier to see her grandchild Kira learn how to skate.
Iris tells us Indian Creek Plaza has been a gamechanger for the community of Caldwell.
"It has made Caldwell come alive like it was when I was a kid," said Ineck. "The kids have been stuck in the house way too long, I think this is the greatest thing around right now."
The most enjoyable part of this story was watching the children progress on the ice going from being very timid to skating around the ribbon.
"It's so cool, I just love skating," said Kira Manley.
The rink at Indian Creek Plaza is open every day of the week, they rent out skates, but they do have to cap the number of skaters, so the ribbon doesn't get overcrowded during the pandemic.