D.C. Gigs: Running The Show At City's Newest Ice Skating Rink | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

D.C. Gigs: Running The Show At City's Newest Ice Skating Rink

Play associated audio
The Canal Park Skate Rink could be where future Washington Capital's hockey stars get their start.
Jocelyn Frank
The Canal Park Skate Rink could be where future Washington Capital's hockey stars get their start.

Nancy Butler is the general manager at Canal Park ice skating rink in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It's an area of the city that used to be best known for the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg (hyperlink http://www.dchousing.org/default.aspx?docid=311) low-income housing project and subsequent redevelopment effort. Among the many changes in the area include the brand new Canal Park ice rink that opened on Nov. 16, 2012.

Butler remembers those early days. "I felt like a construction worker, and here we are a month and a half later, and I'm general manager, so I'm very proud of myself," she says.

Butler was born in the District and grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. She learned to skate at the Fort Dupont indoor rink at a time, she says, when everyone wanted to be like the award winning American figure skater Dorothy Hamill.

"My dad took me to the ice skating ring," he says. "He wouldn't get on the skates himself, but he would sit there as I would make it around."

These days, Butler finds herself again working hard on the ice, but in ways she never imagined when she was first gliding on two skates. She laughs as she talks about one of her most notable responsibilities — she gets to drive the Zamboni.

"I drive a Honda in real life, which only cost me a couple of thousand [dollars], but for my day job I get to drive a $140,000 Zamboni, bright red."

Each day, Butler works alongside a team of local D.C. youth. About 40 employees, most of them coming from low-income housing, help run the skate shop, take admission fees, and demonstrate to new skaters how to find balance and gracefulness on the ice.

Standing rink-side, music plays out over the loud speakers for the skater to enjoy. It's an accompaniment to the percussive sounds of ice skates on ice. Nancy Butler marvels at the many people who've come downtown to enjoy an afternoon of skating out in the sun.

The Canal Park skate rink is open Monday-Friday: 12 to 9 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7p.m. Adult Admission - $8 Children (under 12)/Seniors (55+)/Military Admission - $7 Skate Rental - $3


[Music: "Working for the Weekend" by The Brown Derbies from We Deliver]

D.C. Gigs: Canal Park Ice Skating Rink

NPR

When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family Resists

The movie, one of five Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film this year, is about radical Islamists occupying the city in Mali. Remarkably, it's often on the verge of being a comedy.
NPR

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Multivitamins have gotten a bad rap. But studies suggest these dietary supplements may help plug the nutrition gaps resulting from our less-than-ideal eating habits.
NPR

Mitt Romney Won't Run For President In 2016

"I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee," Romney said in a statement to supporters, according to multiple news reports.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.