As Halloween music echoed throughout the Whittemore Center’s (Whitt) ice skating rink, around 150 students gathered together, on and off the ice, to participate in some festivities pertaining to the holiday.
On Monday, Oct. 31, in celebration of Halloween night, the Whitt’s ice rink was open to students for skating and other activities, including cookie decorating, snacking on cider and donuts, and even free pumpkins were provided. Although it wasn’t required, students were encouraged to arrive in costume to take part in the festivities.
According to Whitt Event Manager Hayley Parson, the annual event first started in 2008.
Funded through Campus Recreation, the event managers work with student staff members to host themed skates and other events throughout the school year.
“By having Campus Recreation manage the [Whitt], we ensure students have access to use the space,” Director of Campus Recreation Stacey Hall said. “This typically is in the form of special events, like Halloween skate, open skate times and Stick and Puck times.”
UNH students, faculty, staff and Recreation pass holders can attend the open skates held every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. On Tuesdays and Sundays, the rink is open to Stick and Puck in the afternoons. Students are free to bring their own skates, while it’s also possible to rent skates at the Whitt Public Skate lobby for $3.
“I have been to the Christmas and Halloween skate every year since freshman year,” UNH senior Mikey Cardoso said. “I’ve made plenty of friends there. It’s a good little workout and nice to hang out with friends.”
Also in attendance was junior Scott Gilman.
“I have been going to the Whitt since freshman year,” Gilman said. “I free-skate about twice a week, I go to Stick and Puck a couple times a month.”
Open rink at the Whitt has created a small community on campus that allows students and faculty of all skill levels to get involved and meet new people.
“Besides getting out of the dorm, it’s nice to meet some new faces and create friendships,” Gilman said. “Also, when you have a stressful week, it’s nice to relax and do your own thing on the ice.”
If you missed out on Monday’s event, there are still plenty of opportunities to strap on the skates and hit the ice.
“Campus Rec puts on several themed skates over the course of the year,” Parsons said. “We host a Holiday skate for the community in December, a Welcome Back skate in January, a Valentines Day skate in February and a Luau skate in March.”