Iceless rink to return downtown
Published 6:30 am Thursday, October 18, 2018
An “iceless” ice skating rink will again be featured during the holiday season this year at Weisger Plaza in downtown Danville. However, changes are in store.
Nick Wade, executive director of the Heart of Danville, which organizes the activity, said the Heart is renting the rink from a local business this year. Danville’s “Party on Air bought the best synthetic ice rink money can buy, so quality will be better, looks will be better and hopefully, the entire experience will be better. It will also be larger than last year, giving more room to skate,” Wade said.
The rink won’t open until Dec. 21 — which is roughly when area schools begin winter break — and will run through Saturday, Jan. 12, with varying hours of operation. Wade said the Heart reluctantly had to shorten the number of days because of budget cuts.
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Wade acknowledged that last year’s iceless rink wasn’t as popular as they had hoped. So the board discussed what worked and what didn’t and made changes that will hopefully create a better event.
“The ultimate goal is to bring people to the downtown area,” he said. “We heard so many comments from people and families that they appreciated us taking a risk and trying something new. We received hundreds of pictures of families on the ‘ice,’ laughing and smiling, and many of those people have already reached out to us about year two, hoping we will bring it back.”
However, the Heart also heard criticism from people who thought the rink was a waste of city money.
“I feel it is important for people to understand that the Heart of Danville is not an agent of the city. The Heart of Danville’s vision is to create a unique and vibrant downtown that celebrates history and the arts, promotes small businesses and sponsors local events to build a community where people want to live, work and enjoy downtown Danville, and the ice rink is just one of many things we are doing to make that vision a reality.”
As a non-profit agency, they’re “not in the money-making business,” Wade said. “We strive to break even on all of our endeavors, and if we turn a profit, that is great. That just creates more money for us to spend on downtown revitalization.”
People can enjoy the rink even if they don’t want to attempt skating on the slick surface, Wade said. He said there is enjoyment in just watching everyone have fun.
“We would love to have sponsors for the rink, as we believe this is a great event — it is family friendly, promotes wellness and brings joy and laughter to the community. It is a win-win in our eyes for sponsors.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring can contact Wade at (859) 236-2361, ext. 141, email him at email@example.com, or visit downtowndanville.com.
IF YOU GO
One day ticket, includes all day skating pass and skates
12 and under — $7
13 and up — $10
Season pass, includes unlimited visits and skates
12 and under — $75
13 and up — $125
Group Rates, reservations required, minimum of 15 skaters
$8 ticket includes reserved skating time and skates.
To make reservations or to host a party on the rink can contact the Heart of Danville or visit downtowndanville.com.