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Garden Roller Rink celebrates reopening

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:05 PM EST
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - It’s a new era at Garden Roller Rink. The popular hangout spot first opened decades ago, and those who have skated there for ages were sure to enjoy the fun on the night of it’s reopening.

“I get in my own world out here. I like to roller skate and dance at the same time. I always did like to dance, and it goes hand in hand with roller skating,” said Wayne Smith.

At the rink, you’ll only see smiling faces -- the same way it has always been.

“It’s never changed. Every time you walk in, it’s just home,” said John Elliott.

Elliott works at the rink today, and also worked for its previous owner Bill Franz.

“I told him I’d help him out and I’ve been here ever since,” said Elliott.

In 2020, Franz lost a battle with COVID-19. It was a tough goodbye for people like Elliott. Due to the absence of Franz, the community also had to say goodbye to Garden Roller Rink. It was unclear whether the rink would ever reopen, but with the help of new owner David Roy, the venue has new life.

“I think Bill would be really excited. I think he’d be sitting over on the sidelines. He liked to watch people skate,” Smith said.

Although some things are a little different without Franz, the fun remains the same. Elliott says this place will keep his friend’s legacy alive, and he couldn’t be more proud.

“He’s probably up there loving it, smiling down on everybody. Every Friday and Saturday night, these were his kids. Even though he’s not here in person, he’s here in spirit,” Elliott said.

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