Clovis News

Word on the Street: Fairgrounds gets roller rink

The agriculture building at the Fresno Fairgrounds has a new life on weekends as a roller-skating rink.

Miracle Skate, which has operated a rink in Madera for eight years, added a second location at the fairgrounds this month.

The business offers the traditional roller-skating atmosphere, with music, lights and games such as the limbo. It also features music videos on a large screen, said owner Don Miracle.

Miracle Skate offers traditional skates, called "quads," along with in-line skates and speed skates with bigger wheels and a lower profile.

"It's coming back around," Miracle said of roller skating. "Adults are starting to skate more."

So far, the rink is open Friday through Sunday, but Miracle said he plans to expand it to weeknights when business picks up. It also features a bounce house and inflatable slide, and hosts birthday parties.

The fair leases the building to Miracle and the space also is available for special events, when the rink railing and concession stand can be removed, said Lauri King, deputy manager of the Big Fresno Fair.

Miracle Skate joins a few other area roller-skating rinks, including Cal Skate Clovis and Roller Towne in Visalia.

Cool collections

Coffee from the Galapagos Islands, silver jewelry from Colombia and handbags from India are among the treasures at Rustica Kollection, a new downtown boutique.

Located next to the Iron Bird Cafe, the new shop is owned and operated by Pablo Antinao, a world traveler and a trained wine steward.

Antinao said he opened the store along with his partner, Elizabeth Burnison, because he wanted to contribute to Fresno's downtown revitalization while also supporting the fair-trade movement.

Nearly all of the items in Antinao's shop were created by companies or artisans that operate in a way that does not harm the environment and provides a sustainable income to workers.

Inside the boutique, shoppers can find clothing, pottery and unique food items, including chocolate from Ecuador and jars of small papayas from Chile called carica.

Antinao said he is pleased with the response from customers.

"We wanted to bring something really unique and new to Fresno and people really seem to like it," he said.

New home

The U.S. Small Business Administration moved into its new office on R Street earlier this month, bringing about 85 workers to downtown Fresno.

The agency left its previous office near the airport that it had occupied for about 20 years. The new office, at 801 R St., south of Tulare Street, was a former United Grocers produce warehouse built in 1931.

The SBA's Fresno District office occupies half the second floor, with a larger training room and more space for SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business.

An SBA loan service center is on the first floor, with 79 employees handling loans awarded to small business owners west of the Mississippi River.

Loan center director Joel A. Stiner said the lease was up at the old location. An executive order dating to President Jimmy Carter gave a downtown location preference when the agency was searching for a new home, he said.