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An ice time had by all in Oak Lawn

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About 100 people came out Oct. 27 for an early Halloween on-ice celebration at the Oak Lawn Ice Arena, 9320 S. Kenton Ave.

Included was 3-year-old George West, who was making his first shaky attempts at standing balanced on two thin strips of sharp metal in his skating debut.

His mother, Denise West, did her best to make sure George didn’t take a tumble, while his father, also named George, and brother, 6-month-old Marshall, watched from off the ice.

The younger George was dressed as Finn, a character from a kids show called “Adventure Time” on The Cartoon Network. Not a lot of kids were dressed in costume despite the Halloween theme, but there were a few scary monsters, a princess and a farmer seen on the ice.

“He’s excited to be here. He loves watching hockey,” the elder George said, watching his son.

This was the family’s first visit to the ice arena.

“I can’t believe we haven’t been over here. We’ve lived in Oak Lawn for two years,” said George, who grew up in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community and worked for years as a teen at Top Notch on 95th Street.

He was grateful for the free event and thought his son, despite not being able to stay upright for too long, was having fun. The youngster sure gave Denise a workout.

“I need a hot pad. I haven’t been on ice in 15 years. It’s like roller skating, more dangerous roller skating,” Denise said.

She tried to stress to her son the importance of less stepping and more gliding.

“We like all the free stuff in Oak Lawn,” Denise said.

Grace Viner, of Oak Lawn, was content to sit in the stands as she watched her grandson, 9-year-old Jamie, zip around the rink.

“He’s taking lessons here. He likes to skate fast. He’s not that great yet, but he’s learning,” she said.

Sue Micele, 47, and daughter Allyssa, 15, sat in the stands watching Taylor, 8, dressed as a farmer complete with suspenders, flannel shirt, jeans and bright yellow hat.

Taylor said she decided to dress as a farmer because it was something different. She enjoyed spending a Sunday afternoon skating.

Four-year-old Kaitlyn Faragoi stood out in her bright yellow Minion costume from the “Despicable Me” movie series. Her mother, Ann Faragoi, was out there with her, making sure Kaitlyn didn’t take a nasty fall.

“This is her fourth time on ice. That’s why she won’t let go of my hand,” Ann said with a smile.

That the party came off in the first place was a bit of a minor miracle.

The previous night, one Zamboni machine blew a radiator, spilling antifreeze over the ice. The second Zamboni needed a new fuel pump. A third Zamboni was hauled in from the Southwest Ice Arena in Crestwood so the surface would be properly prepared to welcome all the skaters.

Even then, workers were busy just before the event, cleaning antifreeze off the ice from the busted radiator, ice arena manager Russ Litko said.



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