Ice Rink Open House Wows With Special Performances

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Bears Hockey offered a free clinic.
Bears Hockey offered a free clinic.

The Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink’s 2016–17 season officially began at an Open House with free admission to public sessions, a free hockey clinic and free cotton candy. Spectacular performances by Francesca Cilluffo, Rachel Breitbart and Ilana Sedaka made the afternoon extra special.

Skaters of all abilities had fun.
Skaters of all abilities had fun.

Anyone who skates for recreation, exercise or competition will adore the rink because it boasts one of the largest municipal skate programs in the country as well as the best ice on Long Island. The Great Neck Park District has the rink painted by Jet Ice, the same company the NHL teams use, which results in a brighter, more professional ice surface.

A variety of enjoyable activities for skaters of all ages and levels are offered by professional staff who follows the curriculum of the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA). Both private and group lessons are available for adults and children, from beginners through advanced, as well as classes for little ones with their parents. More advanced skaters looking for extra practice time can enjoy freestyle sessions.

From left: Rink Manager and Bears/Bruins Coach Napoleon Georgeatos, Rink Facility Manager and Director of Bears Hockey Dan Marsella, Rec Aide and Assistant Director Bears Hockey Rob Campbell, Commissioner Daniel M. Nachmanoff and Skate School Director John Castro-Tie
From left: Rink Manager and Bears/Bruins Coach Napoleon Georgeatos, Rink Facility Manager and Director of Bears Hockey Dan Marsella, Rec Aide and Assistant Director Bears Hockey Rob Campbell, Commissioner Daniel M. Nachmanoff and Skate School Director John Castro-Tie

Synchronized Skate and hockey programs are also offered. In the beginner Synchronized Skate team for ages 6 to 9, skaters can learn the basics. For more advanced skaters ages 7 to 12, two USFSA travel teams are available, which require a tryout. No experience is necessary for the in-house Bears Hockey teams, which caters to children between ages 5 and 12 who want to learn ice hockey in a stress-free, fun environment. The travel hockey program is appropriate for more serious players and requires skaters to try out.

Ilana Sedaka
Ilana Sedaka

Teens can have a good time on or off the ice every Friday between 8 and 10 p.m. during Teen Night, when they can enjoy music and special club-like lighting under adult supervision. Participants can enjoy Wi-Fi in the heated lounge while watching their favorite show on TV or sipping hot chocolate as they warm up by the fireplace. Plus, they can recharge with a wide selection of food from the snack bar.

The rink is also a great place to host children’s birthday parties. For more information, call 516-829-4323.

Rachel Breitbart
Rachel Breitbart

Next to the lounge, the S & A Pro Shop is the answer to all skating and tennis needs. Open year-round, the shop provides professional skate sharpening, rivet repair, stretching and boot punching, skate baking and custom radius skate profiling as well as tennis racket stringing and grip repair. Hockey and figure skating apparel and equipment is also available. Call 516-304-5543 for details.

Francesca Cilluffo
Francesca Cilluffo

For those who regularly use the rink, seasonal memberships are available for families for $400, $200 for adults and $175 for both children and seniors. A 10-Session Resident Pass is offered for adults at $63 and $45 for both children and seniors. For an application or public skate session schedule, visit the rink at 65 Arrandale Ave. or www.greatneckparks.org. Call 516-487-2976 for more information.

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