BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The people running the Southern Park Mall are hoping to start a new holiday tradition.

Until Jan. 2, an outdoor ice rink will be up at the DeBartolo Commons.

Gavin Rupert and his brother Logan laced up their skates Friday afternoon at the new ice rink, later joined by their cousins in the DeNiro and Ervin families.

“It’s very soft. It’s easy to stop on,” Logan Rupert said. “It’s very smooth.”

“The ice rink itself is 35 feet wide by 60 feet long,” said Southern Park manager Brian Gabbert. “We actually had this set two weeks ago so it gave us a little bit of time to iron out some of those kinks.”

He watched people skate from outside the boards as the kids were among the first to christen what is the area’s only commercial outdoor ice skating rink.

“In the beginning, we decided we wanted an ice rink out here. We debated between artificial ice and real ice and just decided if we’re going to do it we want to make it really something special, and so we went with the authentic real ice,” Gabbert said.

They have over 300 pairs of skates to rent for $3. The cost to skate is $10 for adults and $8 for children. The rink will stay open until Jan. 2.

Marie Rupert was one of the mothers who showed up to watch.

“I think it’s fantastic. I grew up at the Mill Creek Ice Rink in Youngstown and I loved it growing up. So I’m happy there’s something here for these kids to do instead of just skating inside all the time,” Rupert said.

The rink has a freezing system to keep the ice frozen even when the air temperature hits 60 degrees. What they don’t know is how many people can get on the rink at one time — 30, maybe 40.

“People just can’t believe we put an ice rink out in the middle of a field, so to speak. So I think people are really excited and when they come out and see it, I think it’s going to to blow people away,” Gabbert said.

The rink is open from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-8 p.m. Friday and 12-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The grand opening of the Southern Park Mall Ice Rink will be Saturday morning at 11 a.m. There will be a ribbon cutting, the Boardman band will perform and Santa will also arrive. There will also be horse drawn rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.