Clayton Man Makes Sure Community Has Ice SkatingPosted: Updated:
"I tell everybody this is Kenny Brabant's ice school."
When the temperature drops in Clayton, Kenny Brabant starts his winter routine.
For 16 years he has spent the icy months making sure kids have a place to play in the cold.
He builds his own ice skating track from scratch and makes a path to sled down, turning Lion Field into what's come to be known as Winter Park.
Brabant says he just has fun getting outside and meeting the kids in town.
"If they don't have their hat or they're not dressed right, I like to give them a little grind about it. Just to get to know the kids, it's kind of my neighborhood, he said.
It wouldn't be a proper ice rink without the machinery to keep it up, so over the years, folks have donated equipment to Kenny to help him maintain it - even his own makeshift Zamboni.
Brabant puts a lot of work into the park; one particularly warm year he says the rink would not stop melting. He rebuilt it five times that winter.
It's hard but rewarding work.
"One woman gave me a beautiful compliment. She said that this field, when it's full of kids, looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. So wow, that really very nice," he said.
Brabant tries to keep his work of winter art open through February.