Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink Opens For Holidays

6 days ago 3

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The iconic Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink is open in a limited way in time for the holidays.

The sunken rink in midtown Manhattan started welcoming skaters Saturday afternoon as part of a tradition that goes back to the 1930s, according to the Rockefeller Center website.

The rink is operating at a reduced capacity, with skate time limited to 50 minutes. Masks are required as a further coronavirus pandemic safety measure.

MORE: Christmas Tree Arrives At Rockefeller Center, Complete With Police Escort

According to legend, the website says, the rink was inspired by “a Depression-era skate salesman who demonstrated his product by skating on the frozen water of the Rockefeller Center fountain.”

The rink officially opened as a “skating pond” on Christmas Day 1936. It was supposed to be temporary but got so popular it became a permanent fixture for the holiday season.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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