When I was in my late elementary school/junior high years, the *cool thing to do* on Friday and Saturday evenings was to head to Skateland, a rollerskating rink in my hometown in Salisbury, Maryland. I remember so clearly the lights, the disco balls, the music—for whatever reason, Madonna’s “Holiday” sticks out in my mind. The employees of the rink that skated around to make sure everyone behaved wore referee’s stripes, and were beloved — they would skate backwards, spin, and jump as they made their rounds (literally). There was an arcade and snack bar for taking a break. I had my thirteenth birthday party there, and we were allowed to stay until 10 pm (gasp!)…which was a big deal, since my birthday is New Year’s and the party was on New Year’s Eve. <grin> It was a safe place to be with my friends, have fun, and grow into being almost teenagers (you could observe the teens that didn’t have drivers licenses yet, they were there in full force).
Now, with kids of my own, I was tickled to find the Purcellville Skating Rink! It’s been around for ages: it was built in 1903 to hold the annual meeting of the Prohibition and Evangelical Association of Loudoun County but opened as a skating rink in 1939. It has played host to countless meetings, performances, and events, Patsy Cline even sang there! You can read up on the full history on their website.
The skating rink continues to play host to the kids of Loudoun county, with open skating times, special hours on school holidays, birthday parties (we’ve hosted one there!), and even special toddler times for the little ones to bring ride on toys to enjoy the space. The rink is also home to the Purcellville Teen Center, a volunteer organization that hosts 6th through 12th graders on Friday and Saturday evenings. (Average attendance last year was 187 kids!) The teen center is always looking for volunteers to help chaperone, and sponsors to defray the cost of the free admission.
The rink recently held salsa dancing lessons, and every Sunday the Purcellville Baptist Church worships there. And every third Saturday between October and May, the Bluemont Country Dances are there. The rink is located at 250 South Nursery Avenue in Purcellville, and can be reached at 540-338-5025.