Palos Hills cancels skate for second straight year

By Kelly White

For the second straight year, Palos Hills cancelled its Skate Under the Stars event because of unseasonably warm temperatures.

The past several days have been more typically wintery here in the Chicago area, but temperatures hit well into the 50s last Friday when the skate was to be held at the ironically-named Glacier Park, 101st Street and 78th Avenue.

"Right now, Glacier Park is a lake," Alderman Joe Marrotta (4th Ward) joked at the Palos Hills City Council Meeting last Thursday. "Even though a great effort was made by public works and our park department, Mother Nature does not seem to want to cooperate with us with this scheduled event."

Last year's Skate under the Stars was scheduled to be held in mid-January, but was postponed until February as city officials hoped for more typically cold weather to return. The event was eventually cancelled because of inconsistent temperatures that prevented ice from forming.

With the past two years' skates being cancelled, the event has yet to be the annual occurance city officials had hoped it would be. The first skate was held in 2011 and drew children from Palos Hills as well as Hickory Hills and Bridgeview. Skate under the Stars was intended to be way to get children outdoors during the cold winter by ice skating and playing hockey while drinking hot chocolate.

Marrotta thanked city employees and everyone who helped organize the event, and expressed his hope for better luck next year.

Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett offered his sentiments.

"I know everyone put a lot of effort into the event again this year, and it's not going to be able to take place," he said. "We've been having way above normal temperatures and the best we can do is try again next year."

Bennett added that as far as he is concerned, the warmer than usual winter temperatures are not all that bad in regard to everyday living and traveling, and that if the temperature stays above normal the best everyone can hope for is no snow.