The “Slice of Ice” skating rink at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee is nearly ready for skaters. It opens for the season tomorrow (Thursday, December 4) at 4:00.
Yesterday I noticed that the rink’s cement had been covered by a thin layer of ice, almost like a “prep” foundation. But this morning when I stopped by Starbucks after my first class of the day, I saw that the ice seemed to have assumed its normal winter appearance. By the time I left campus, county workers were unloading decorated Christmas trees from a truck and installing them around the rink’s perimeter.
When I was there this morning, park workers were affixing ads to the rails surrounding the ice. I couldn’t resist snapping my photo of the ice from a position that would also capture the ad for a “Hank” tree ornament. If you buy two 4-packs of Milwaukee Brewers tickets (great Christmas gift for a baseball fan), you get the free Christmas ornament.
As every Milwaukeean knows, Hank (Wikipedia article here) was a stray who wandered into the Brewers’ spring training camp in Arizona last winter. Adopted by the team as its mascot, Hank arrived in town last spring to an outpouring of hoopla and adoration. A crowd of people including the county executive and the mayor of Milwaukee (who brought peanut butter dog cookies) waited for over half an hour at Mitchell International airport to greet Hank as soon as his chartered airplane landed.
Above is a cute picture of Hank in his mascot dog house. (Photo by Gkasica, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Indeed, Milwaukeeans love their animals. For proof, look no further than the story of Samson, a gorilla who lived for years at the Milwaukee County Zoo. His death warranted front page newspaper headlines for days. Or Gertie, the Duck, whose brood of ducklings, nested in a piling in the Milwaukee River under the Wisconsin Avenue bridge during World War II, attracted national attention (and a Readers Digest article and eventually a children’s book) after throngs of locals gathered daily to monitor her progress.
But I digress (oops 🙂 ). The main points to take away from today’s post:
- “Slice of Ice,” the skating rink at Red Arrow Park at the intersection of State and Water streets in Downtown Milwaukee, opens tomorrow afternoon.
- You can get a free “Hank” Christmas ornament if you purchase two holiday 4-packs of Brewers tickets (@ $60 each, so $120 total) through December 19. Here’s a link to the Brewers webpage with all the ordering info.
I remember Sampson!!! He’s at the museum now. 🙂
Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that! In fact, I remember reading that his taxidermied (is that a word?) self was out on exhibit a while ago. Is he a permanent exhibit, or did he go back into storage? I just visited the museum’s website, and they’re calling Samson “an exact, scientifically accurate re-creation.” When I read that, I thought maybe it wasn’t actually Samson himself (“stuffed,” to use a less than PC term). But then they say that the woman who “created” Samson entered him in the 2009 World Taxidermy Championships and won three top awards. So maybe it’s the real Samson, after all 🙂