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How Johnston's new ice rink is staying cool during mild, warm days

The synthetic ice is perfectly capable of staying hard when temperatures are above freezing.

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Local 5 meteorologists say the weather is going to stay really nice and mild this week, even with December starting on Wednesday. 

But even with the warmer temps, folks in Johnston can hit the ice with free skating at the city's brand new town center that opened in the summer. The Yard officially opened in August with Maddie Poppie headlining the celebration. 

The rink is made from completely synthetic ice, so skaters have nothing to fear when the temps are above freezing.

Local 5's Chief Meteorologist Brad Edwards spoke with David Wilwerding, the city's community development director, about the town center's newest addition. 

"We wanted a gathering space, and you can see City Hall's right behind us," Wilderwing said. "And hopefully next year at this time, we'll be full of businesses that residents can come out and support while they're ice skating." 

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So, what can folks do at the rink? Wilderwing made it clear that the rink is not for playing hockey. 

"We don't have sideboards, but it's free to open recreational skating," he said. "It's not 100% as fast as regular ice, but it's also not as slippery. So when you get on the ice it's easier to get going." 

The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It's free to skate if you already have a set of blades, otherwise, it'll be $5 to rent a pair. More information on private party rentals and skate rental hours can be found here

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