NLA to celebrate 15 years Saturday

ALPENA –The Northern Lights Arena will have its first open house to celebrate 15 years of operations from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Tours, refreshments and Q&A will welcome all to learn more about the arena.

The arena is available to the public because of donations and volunteer services revenue of over $50,000 in the past year is recycled back into the community, according to Arena Manager Keli Werda.

“The elementary kids helped us decorate, and as a thank you we will make skating free for them and the staff as appreciation during the open house that will also be open to the public,” Werda said. “We host glow skating once a week for $5 rentals are free.”

Werda said January will kick off a number of events for 2018, including an indoor boat, car, and gun and knife show to draw people with other interests to the arena. It also is offering a discount on private parties and ice rink rentals at $100 per hour until Jan. 31.

“We hope to increase our diversity in our events,” she said. “We’ve been on a real good trend the past couple of seasons. And the gun and knife show is new, so we are looking at more events to target more people, besides ice skating events.”

Anyone can donate to the nonprofit at Northern Lights Arena. Donations will go toward operation of the rink.

“We have really tight budget so all of that helps us maintain operations,” Werda said.

Beth Gohs can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693.