SPOKANE, Wash. — It requires ice skates and a Zamboni, but do not call this an ice rink.
This is an ice ribbon.
And downtown Spokane is the only place you'll find one, according to park director Jonathan Moog.
"It's the first one essentially on the West Coast, there are about 12 or 13 in the United States, but this is the first one on this side, so very cool for Spokane and it's a great win for our community."
Instead of going in circles, skaters wind through Riverfront Park.
"It's an urban trail that kinda wanders through the park here. Has some dips, has some climbs, it’s a really nice experience to come out and enjoy at night."
Ice skating is challenging under any circumstances. Those dips and climbs add yet more challenges. But they've wrapped a solution around the entire ribbon, in the form of a rail. Plus, helmets are free. Admission and skate rental comes to about 17 dollars for an adult.
Spokane’s Ice Ribbon is a great place for the littles to burn off energy. And with its downtown location and cozy bonfires to gather around, it’s a popular night out. Did we mention the snack bar serves beer and wine?
"It's just a really cool experience to be down in the downtown urban core, it's really vibrant, especially Friday and Saturday night,” Moog said. "I really love to see family and friends getting together out here."
The Ice Ribbon remains in place until the weather warms up. The good people of Spokane obviously have it figured out. The best way to cope with chilly winter weather is to skate right through it.