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Ice-skating in its simplest form dates back many centuries, with skates made out of animal bones. It became fashionable in the 18th cent. and a London Skating Club was founded in 1842. Speed skating held its first international competition at Hamburg in 1885 and was admitted to the Olympics in 1924. Ice rinks were built in large numbers after one was opened in Manchester in 1877. Figure skating had its first world championship at St Petersburg in 1896 and pair skating in 1908. The popularity of the sport was much increased by Sonja Henie of Norway, who won ten consecutive world championships for figure skating between 1927 and 1936 and appeared in a number of films. In the 1980s Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean achieved vast popularity, winning world, Olympic, and European ice-dance titles in 1984 before turning professional.

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Ice skating is a Maine tradition. What Mainer didn't throw on a pair of skates as a kid and glide around the frozen puddle in the back yard or go to a pond in town or a nearby quarry to enjoy this winter ritual? It's a great way to get out in the fresh air (bundle up!) and enjoy the great outdoors.Note: All phone numbers are area code 207.

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Bath Dummer Street Pond Corner of Beacon and Dummer Streets, Bath, Maine Hours: Lighted until 9 p.m. daily. Signs are posted if the pond is closed due to weather. Call 443-8360. Goddards Pond Corner of Marshall and High Streets, Bath, Maine Hours: Dependent on the weather, but generally Monday through Friday, 3:00 - 9:00 pm and weekends noon to 9:00 pm. Warming hut and refreshment stand. Call 443-8360. Bridgton The Bridgton Ice Arena (Indoor) Bridgton Academy, off Route 37 Hours: Vary from week to week but in general are Fridays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 1-3:30 p.m. Call 647-3322, ext. 310. Brunswick Brunswick Parks and Recreation Ice Rink On the Mall Brunswick, Maine Open December through March, conditions permitting, for public skating. Hours: From 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Lishness Park Ice Rink Pine Tree Road Brunswick, Maine Open to the public for ice hockey only, December through March. Hours: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Call 725-6656. Bethel Bethel Recreation Department Ice Rink Bethel Common Bethel, Maine Skating December - February. Biddeford The Biddeford Ice Arena (Indoor) Alfred Road Business Park Olympic-sized outdoor ice skating rink open to the public daily from mid-October to mid-March except during school vacations. Ice skating and hockey classes and adult and youth hockey leagues. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. and Friday nights from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Figure skating for everyone on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. and stick hockey on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call 283-0615. Carrabassett Valley Carrabassett Valley Ski Touring Center Route 27 Carrabassett Valley, Maine Skating Mid-December - March 1. Sugarloaf Olympic-sized outdoor ice skating rink with music and lights, open daily starting in mid-December, weather permitting. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday and Monday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Falmouth Falmouth Family Ice Center (Indoor and Outdoor) 20 Hat Trick Drive Falmouth, Maine Outdoor and indoor rinks maintained by a zamboni. Room for hockey leagues and figure skaters on this large rink. Lessons are available. Warming hut, picnic tables, and restrooms. Admission to the outdoor rink:$5; skate rentals: $2. Hours: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. check site for schedule Call 781-4200. Freeport Freeport Middle School Field Kendall Lane Freeport, Maine Hours: Dependent on the weather. Call 865-6171. Fryeburg Fryeburg Recreation Department Ice Rink Bradley Street Fryeburg, Maine Skating mid-December - mid-March. Gorham University of Southern Maine Gorham Campus, Route 25 Gorham, Maine Mostly for college team ice sports, but open to the public mid-morning during the week. Hours: Monday - Friday 11:20 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Sunday 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Call 780-5991. Lewiston/Auburn Walton Jr. High Ice Rink Seventh Street Auburn, Maine Skating December - February. Albert E. Michaud Park Van Buren Road Lewiston, Maine Skating December - March. Portland Breakwater School Capisic Street Portland, Maine Open December - February Deering Oaks Park Pond State Street and Park Avenue Portland, Maine Open December - February during normal park hours. Hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily Call 874-8793. Portland Ice Arena (Indoor) 225 Park Avenue Portland, Maine Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11:45 - 1:15, Sunday 2:30 - 4 p.m. Call 774-8553. Payson Park Baxter Boulevard Portland, Maine Open December - February Hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily Presumpscot Park Ludlow Street Portland, Maine Open December - February Saco Sportzone Saco, Maine Howard Sports Dome Topsham, Maine South Portland Mill Creek Park Pond Ocean Street at Hinckley South Portland, Maine Outdoor pond in Mill Creek Park behind Mill Creek shopping center. Free Hours: Open December through February, dependent on the weather. Call 767-7651. Standish Johnson Field Sebago Lake Village, Route 35 Standish, Maine Open daily from sunrise to sunset. Has a warming hut. Ice skating parties throughout the season, with music and refreshments. Hours: Dependent on the weather Call 642-2875. Steep Falls Standish, Maine Outdoor rink open daily from sunrise to sunset. Call 642-2875. Windham Manchester School Route 302 Windham, Maine Hours: Dependent on the weather. Call 892-1905. Yarmouth Yarmouth Community Services Park Main Street Yarmouth, Maine Open December - February until 10:30 pm Lighted rink with a warming hut. Travis Roy Ice Arena (Indoor) Route 1 Yarmouth, Maine