Napanee roller-rink celebrates grand opening in old arena

Skaters glide to the sounds of music from the 1980s and 90s during Friday’s grand opening of Disco Ball Events roller-rink. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme
Editor

Amid retro music, glow sticks and roller-skates, a ribbon was cut was cut Friday to officially mark the grand opening of Disco Ball Events roller rink.

Situated inside Napanee’s York Street arena, the one-time ice pad has been bustling with activity every Friday and Saturday since its soft opening on Nov. 16.

Since that time, owner Jay Bradley says the response has been so strong he’s already looking to expand the operation.

On Friday he was joined by Greater Napanee mayor Marg Isbester for the official grand opening.

The building, which is leased from the Lennox and Addington Agricultural Society, will serve as a roller rink throughout the winter months.

The venue has been popular among all ages as it provides a place to get active during the winter months.

“Napanee’s not the only one with that problem (of finding places to get active),” said Bradley. “It’s Kingston and Belleville. Napanee is just ideal because it’s central, it draws everything probably Brockville to Trenton, it’s great. We lucked out. At first we really wanted to do this in Kingston because that’s where the original Studio 801 was, I knew it would work. I lucked out because this is even better.”

Hanging above the old centre ice is the same disco ball (technically a mirror ball) that once revolved around Studio 801.

The opening in Napanee comes at a time when there seems to be a revived interest in the roller rink theme.

“When it comes to safety I find parents are finding sometimes kids have to get dirty sometimes, they have to fall to learn,” said Bradley. “I think we’re at the right time to do this because parents want their kids out of the house, off the tablets and to explore the world like we did when we were kids.”

Disco Ball Events currently hosts three skating sessions. A Friday skate from 6-9 p.m. known as Fashioned Fridays-complete with DJ and songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s. On Saturday at 3:30 p.m. is Showcase Saturday, where youths under the age of 18 are able to showcase their singing talents. At 7:30 p.m. is Subterranean Saturdays with more modern music.

Disco Ball Events is located at 170 York Street. General admission is $10 and $2 to rent skates. Participants must bring their own safety gear.

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