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Public roller skating glides into Kelowna’s waterfront park

Click to play video: 'Public skating winding down for season in Kelowna'
Public skating winding down for season in Kelowna
WATCH: It has been one of the more popular activities for Okanagan families during the ongoing pandemic. But there’s is only one week left for those hoping to lace up their skates over at Stuart Park. – Feb 20, 2021

Visitors to Kelowna, B.C.’s waterfront ice rink are probably familiar with Kevin LaFlamme.

For the better part of a decade, he’s spent his winter days outfitting visitors to Stuart Park with a pair of ice skates and everything else they would need for a picturesque glide around the ice.

His rental mobile has been up and running from December to March for a long time, but in recent years, LaFlamme has had his eye on something new and that’s taken root this summer.

“I’m semi-retired and I’ve been keeping an eye on roller skating for seven years,” he said. “In California, it’s grown to such a large sport, I figured it was time to bring it to Kelowna.”

Click to play video: 'Okanagan skaters have grand hopes and resolutions for new year'
Okanagan skaters have grand hopes and resolutions for new year

So he pitched the idea to the city and all the roller skating ducks lined up, which meant ordering a lot of fancy roller skates and roller skating gear from Europe.

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Thursday was the ninth day he was open for rentals and a smattering of wheeled people were using what’s usually Stuart Park’s ice rink as a roller rink. To LaFlamme, the day was nine times better than it was the first day.

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“Every day there’s an improvement, every day it gets better,” LaFlamme said.

“I’ve had people from 10 to 11 years old all the way up to 68 years old renting skates, and wow could he go.”

LaFlamme pointed out that the skate rental doesn’t tie a person only to the Stuart Park rink. They can cruise up and down local streets, if their wheeled feet will take them.

Click to play video: 'Public skating winding down for season in Kelowna'
Public skating winding down for season in Kelowna

“People can go anywhere in town,” he said. “They can go to downtown Bernard, go for lunch. Eat, make it a date night — there are over 11 kilometre of waterfront pathway.”

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The city also puts on a Tuesday disco night and that’s been proving to be a popular roller skating opportunity.

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