NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The iconic Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink is open in a limited way in time for the holidays.

The sunken rink in midtown Manhattan started welcoming skaters Saturday afternoon as part of a tradition that goes back to the 1930s, according to the Rockefeller Center website.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 21: People wearing protective masks ice skate as The Rink at Rockefeller Center opens for the season with limited capacity and additional safety precautions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on November 21, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The rink is operating at a reduced capacity, with skate time limited to 50 minutes. Masks are required as a further coronavirus pandemic safety measure.

The rink will be open every day from 9 a.m. until midnight through Jan. 17.

MORE: Christmas Tree Arrives At Rockefeller Center, Complete With Police Escort

According to legend, the website says, the rink was inspired by “a Depression-era skate salesman who demonstrated his product by skating on the frozen water of the Rockefeller Center fountain.”

The rink officially opened as a “skating pond” on Christmas Day 1936. It was supposed to be temporary but got so popular it became a permanent fixture for the holiday season.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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