Braemar figure skating instructors Eleanor Fischer and Jean Pastor created Edina’s first ice show in 1966.
Braemar Arena had been open only a few months when it hosted its first ice show in the spring of 1966. Even with inexperienced skaters, the Ice Follies managed to entertain with costuming, music and staging similar to popular professional ice shows of the day.
Rink manager Gordon Bowen conducted music for Holiday on Ice shows in Minneapolis and worked to orchestrate an impressive show on Edina’s ice. Skating instructor Jean Pastor traveled across the country with the famed Shipstead’s and Johnson Ice Follies and performed with her twin sister Joan in front of packed houses that included celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable. While Pastor brought experience with staging and costuming, her skating school partner Eleanor Fischer, a former Canadian Junior Ladies Figure Skating Champion, brought sheer athleticism and skating talent.
The Edina club became well known for its professional staging, and soon was able to attract pros and former Olympians like Janet Lynn to open shows. Now in its 50th year, the Braemar City of Lakes Figure Skating Club is led by many of Pastor and Fischer’s star pupils who carry on the tradition of the big show on ice.
The Braemar City of Lakes Figure Skating Club’s 50th anniversary ice show will be held May 1-2 at Braemar Arena.