The Rinx at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson, a transformation is underway as the temperatures rise. From April 10 to July 25, locals can switch out the ice blades for a pair of roller blades, since the outdoor rink is now open for roller skating.

The Rinx's owner, Tom Palamara, and the village's recreation supervisor, Renee Lemmerman, were at the park in summer last year, and Renee asked him whether he had considered making roller skating.”. Palamara and Lemmerman later discussed this possibility, and Palamara started looking into different types of surfaces as well as companies that might carry out this type of project, according to Lemmerman. In Suffolk County, there are currently no roller rinks, which the superintendent believes would be a great sport for local children to enjoy. After speaking with various people she quickly realized that roller skating wasn’t just for kids.

The 50-year-old woman who Lemmerman told the good news to said, “Oh my God, it is so hot, I want to go roller skating too! I thought it would be too humid to go ice skating, but I used to roller skate. Upon hearing the woman’s remarks, the superintendent stated, “Wow, we’re going to hit a whole different demographic here.”

Palamara said once the news spread that roller skating would arrive at The Rinx at Harborfront Park, people approached him wanting to know how true it was. The sheer number of people interested in what we're doing is amazing,” he added.

Palamara discovered a newspaper article in “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” dated July 5, 1908 while researching if a skating rink ever existed at Port Jefferson during the 20th century. In the article, Theatria Three is located in the same building as Athena Hall, where roller skating took place. After decades without roller skating at Rinx, the owner says everyone at The Rinx at Harborfront Park is excited to bring the activity back and offer another pastime for village visitors.  He has also discovered from skating in Harborfront Park that it is the ideal spot for family gatherings or a romantic night out. “The thing I like about the rink in Port Jefferson is that it’s a nice little rink, similar to the one at Rockefeller-Center,” Palamara said.

A multi-purpose, athletic sports court will be installed atop the ice skate surface on March 15 to replace the skating rink. Quad skates, said Palamara, will be available for rent as they are more stable when compared to roller blades, which will make them easier to use for new or rusty skaters alike. Besides bringing their own skates, the skaters can also rent out the roller rink for parties and birthdays.

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