Ice skating rinks created on frozen Depot Pond in Batavia
By Linda Girardi For Sun-Times Media January 20, 2014 6:40PM
Brian Geni of North Aurora and his daughter, 6-year old Baylee, enjoy a moment while skating Sunday on Depot Pond in Batavia. "It's actually a beautiful view," the father said.
Updated: February 22, 2014 6:18AM
The sights and sounds of ice skaters were heard on Depot Pond in Batavia recently.
On Sunday, two mini-sized Zambonis from the Batavia Park District cleared snow for three ice rinks on the frozen pond along Houston Street in downtown Batavia.
It wasn’t long before figure skaters and hockey players had their skates laced-up and were enjoying the cool, crisp air on Depot Pond.
“It’s actually a beautiful view,” Brian Geni said.
The North Aurora father said skating on the iconic pond was a peaceful and relaxing way to spend quality time with his two children. Dalton, 12, was shooting a hockey puck with his dad, while 6-year old Baylee mastered her graceful moves on the ice. “It’s just so much fun and we get to spend time with our dad,” Baylee said.
A day earlier an Arctic clipper dumped another inch of snow on the area but left behind more bearable temperatures for outdoor winter fun.
Illustrator John Falter captured a similar scene on canvas more than a half-century ago while visiting Batavia. On Jan 11, 1958, his painting of skaters on the pond appeared on the cover of the weekly edition of “The Saturday Evening Post.”
The publication “created quite a stir,” according to a plaque on the south end of the pond. “It was joked that for every figure shown in the painting, there were three of four people who claimed to be that figure.”
Andy and Kim Schifferer, of Batavia, skated on Sunday with their three young children, Celia, Jenna and Isaac.
“It’s always a challenge for the temperature to be warm enough and the pond frozen,” Andy Schifferer said.
Kim Schifferer said she was ready to break-in her new skates from two years ago.
“Last year the ice had already thawed. Thankfully my feet don’t keep growing like our kids,” the mother said.
Karyn Bergsieker, of Batavia, enjoyed an afternoon of figure skating with Courtney her daughter. “We were just saying it was the perfect temperature and the sun was out. The ice was surprisingly smooth,” Bergsieker said.