The Swine Barn at the McLeod County Fairgrounds was the place to be Jan. 30. It was Mites Hockey Fun Day sponsored by the Hutchinson Hockey Association. The event attracted more than 80 boys and girls age 4-9.

"We did it to provide a fun outdoor hockey experience for the kids and introduce them to the outdoor rink," said Adam Fink, mite director this year for the Hutchinson Hockey Association. "We try to allow the kids to just have unstructured skating time at the outdoor rink. ... This allows kids to get outside and play with their friends and scrimmage, or just play tag and so on."

The HHA built the rink at the fairgrounds this year to allow kids more ice time and more open hockey than structured practices. Marc Docken, head of the Player Development Committee, coordinated getting the rink into existence.

"We worked with Randy Starke and the McLeod County Fairgrounds to rent the Swine Building as a private rental for HHA, and they help to maintain the ice and have been doing a great job," Fink said. "This is a win-win for the community as it provides income to the fairgrounds from a building that would normally be sitting vacant through the winter, and increases the use of the fairgrounds during the winter, which is normally a slower time for them."

For more information about the HHA, visit or call Josh Karg, president, at 320-552-3513.