Ringing out the last bit of winter fun before the bitter cold moves in

ST. LOUIS – “You know what, it is the last day, but we had a great run at Winterfest,” organizer Sarah Melinger said.

As the temperatures continued to drop across the St. Louis area, organizers of this year’s WinterFest decided to pack up the ice rink a few days ahead of schedule.

“Strictly safety,” she said. “When we saw the weather forecast with the temperatures dipping down and frostbite could occur in 30 minutes, we just realized safety first; we had to go ahead and close Winterfest.”

This year, real ice returned to the rink as visitors laced up their skates to do laps under the Arch at the newly renovated Kiener Plaza.

The fun at the rink brought out people of all ages, like twins Travis and Christopher Moton.

“It was good and I fell a lot of times and my feet got dirty a little bit, but I don’t care because it was still fun,” Travis said.

“I had a lot of fun because I didn’t really fall and I got to grab snow and throw it on my mom,” Christopher said.

Hopefully the fun times didn’t land Christopher in trouble, but family love filled the rink as Letoya Torres made true on her promise.

“Today we wanted to make sure we came out,” Torres said. “My daughter has been asking the whole time since it’s been open. I’m numb right now, my toes are numb and I was just hoping I didn’t fall.”

With her daughter there to guide her along the way, Torres made it around the rink as the temperature got lower.

“This is totally different from roller-skating,” Torres said. “I’d rather be roller-skating than out here! At least I’m safer.”