The Ester Ice Breaker, an annual opening of a skating rink

The sun shines through the clouds over the freshly opened Ester ice rink. (John Dougherty/KTVF

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Ice skating, dog mushing and food. Those are just some of the reasons people go to the Ester Ice Breaker at the Ester Park. The Ester Ice Breaker celebrates the opening of the ice rink in Ester.

"Two week process of making ice, and everyone is always driving by, seeing me out here,” said Joe Geiss, the coordinator for Ester Park. “The ice looks good sometimes, and people want to come down and skate, but I am not quite ready yet. So we created an event that basically says Ester Ice is open."

Geiss has been building the ice rink for ten years. He said people used to come out with buckets and throw water on the ground but he wanted it make it better.

“Started that way, made my own Joe-bonie as I called it years ago, trailer pulled behind and here we are ten years later we got an actual Olympia ice resurfacer," Geiss said.

He found the ice resurfacer in Juneau and had to bring it up on the ferry and then drive it the rest of the way on a trailer. Now he says they have the best ice ever.

Community members brought food and hot drinks as well as started fires to keep everyone warm at the event.

Thom Walker, the owner of Friendly Arctic Adventures, a dog sledding tour company even brought dogs out to give people free dog sled rides.

"Volunteering, I think to help kids, give them a chance to get outdoors and pet dogs and go mushing and experience it. I think a lot of people live in Alaska and have never been mushing," Walker said.

According to Walker, the event went well and everyone was having fun.

It's been going great, the suns peeking through the clouds, and everyone has got hot chocolate, the rink has been zambonied and everything is going good out here today so we are real happy."

The ice rink is used for the community hockey league as well as curling in the spring.

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