Skaters hit the ice at the Empire State Plaza in Albany for the first time this holiday weekend as the outdoor ice rink opened for the season on Friday.

Just as the weather in the Capital Region begins turning colder this weekend, the timing of the rink's opening seems perfect.  Last year, the rink did not open until New Year's Day.

The rink is run by the New York State Office of General Services and is free to the public every day 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. - weather permitting.

The rink is sponsored by a number of private and commercial organizations to help meet operational needs and illustrates how government and the community can work together.