Skaters take in downtown Winterfest in final weekend
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Winterfest is ending this weekend in downtown Tulsa, but Saturday was only a beginning for Davin Helmstadter.
The 45-year-old took to the ice for the first time in his life on Saturday.
“I admired it from afar,” the Nebraska native said about his prior attitude about skating.
Winterfest has attracted skaters to downtown Tulsa over the extended holiday season since 2008. The current season will conclude with a session from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday at the rink which has been set up on Third Street between the Page Belcher Federal Building and the BOK Center.
Gussy Feathers, 20, said she remembers skating at various places in Tulsa, including the old Williams Center Forum. On Saturday, she was visiting Winterfest with her 18-year-old brother, Austin Feathers, and several other family members.
Austin, a Sapulpa High School senior, said coming to downtown Tulsa to skate was a fun way to spend time on the first weekend of the new year.
Vince Lepak brought his daughter, Chloe, to Winterfest as part of a birthday celebration for one of her friends. Chloe, 9, said she has taken up ice skating within the past year and may take some lessons.
Mirinda Callan, 17, was finding that her five or six years of roller blading experience was translating to the ice very well, although she acknowledged that stopping her momentum was a bit of a challenge.
“This is fun,” the Yukon High School senior said of her first time on ice skates.
Other Winterfest attendees were making a return to the ice for the first time in this century. Robbie Mangum, 29, said she remembers skating at an indoor rink on 71st Street some 15 years ago. On Saturday, she was back on skates because her 11-year-old son, Seth, wanted to go.
Helmstadter said he has been visiting downtown Tulsa more often recently to enjoy the various entertainment options.
After Sunday, Winterfest will not be one of those options until the next holiday season gets here.
Many of those on hand Saturday were already looking forward to the next time outdoor ice skating returns downtown.
“I would definitely come do it again,” Helmstadter said.
Vince Lepak helps Karsyn Combs (left), Karalina Neufeld, Addy Fulton and Chloe Lepak (right) across the Winterfest skating rink in downtown Tulsa on Saturday. Sunday is the last day of the annual event. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Davin Helmstadter (right) helps his grandson Trevlin Barr with his ice skates the Winterfest skating rink in downtown Tulsa on Saturday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World