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Maple Grove Family's Backyard Ice Rink Lights Up the Night

Feb 09, 2017 07:37AM, Published by Wendy Erlien, Categories: Community

Shawn Carlon along with his children at their backyard ice rink. (photo by Wendy Erlien)

What started as an idea born out of a neighborly conversation more than five years ago, Shawn Carlon has continued to add and expand to his family's backyard ice rink.

This year, he added a mapped out, multi-color LED light layout beneath 114x52 sheet of ice.  

In their neighborhood near Zachary Lane in Maple Grove, Carlon attributes the backyard ice rink concept to his neighbor - who had  previously created one for his (now adult) children. 

"We have a tennis court area, so an ice rink seemed like a good idea," Carlon said. 

When he built the rink for the first time, it resembled a traditional pond ice rink with no boards. As the years went on, he continued to expand and improve on the rink - learning on what worked (and what didn't work) each season and ever changing Minnesota temperatures. 

"I've learned a lot of lessons over the years," he said. 

In the meantime, the Carlon family enjoys the winter activity as well as hosting skating parties for their children's Elm Creek Elementary classmates and inviting their neighbor's grandchildren.

"We don't get cabin fever with this," he said. "It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it."

LED Ice Rink (video provided by Gopher Aerial)

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