Opening of the peninsula ice rink; The 6 week season starts Friday


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Get out the scarves and mittens because the ice is back in town.

Now in its fourth season, the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village is slated to open on Friday morning, November 19 for a six-week run in a city-owned parking lot at 121 W. Front St.

The centerpiece of the village is a temporary ice rink with skating available daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until January 3.

The rink, the only one on the North Olympic Peninsula, closes 30 minutes at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for ice resurfacing.

Admission for unlimited skating is $ 15 per day for adults and $ 10 for children aged 3 to 12 with family admission at $ 40 for a family of four and $ 5 for each additional member of the team. family available.

There is also a $ 150 season pass for avid skaters.

Skate rental is included in the price.

Accident waivers, required for anyone using the rink, are available online at wintericevillage.com, and advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce – which runs the Ice Village – said assembling the event just got easier with practice.

“The only thing different this year is that we kind of know what we’re doing,” he said. “This is our fourth season, and a lot of the things we’re doing is muscle memory – setting up the different platforms, the different notes on the skate ramp, where we’re going to put the ticket booth… all the little things. . “

This year’s Ice Village returns to the holiday season after COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the cancellation of winter skating in 2020. Instead, organizers opted for a shortened 2021 spring season.

Leslie Robertson, events manager for the chamber of commerce, said common sense COVID protocols would be in place using county health department guidelines that include masking requirements and crowd spacing recommendations.

“(Health officials) have said we can use our best guess. They trust us, ”she said.

There is no vaccination requirement for participation or attendance.

Steve Hargis cuts pieces Wednesday, November 17 for an observation deck for skaters at the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village. Photo by Keith Thorpe / Olympic Peninsula News Group

One facet of the village that can never be controlled is the weather. A winter storm in January 2020 almost brought the skating season to an abrupt end after up to 2 feet of snow collapsed the tent above the rink. Volunteers dismantled the destroyed surface and the last days of skating took place in the open air.

Abshire said it would not happen again.

“We are not going to believe the forecasts anymore,” he said. “If there is snow in the forecast, we will be there, even in the middle of the night, making sure that the snow does not accumulate (on the tent).”

Steve Hargis, a board member for the chamber of commerce and the village’s construction guru, said longer push rods to remove accumulated snow would be available in inclement weather.

Unlike the first two skating seasons, there will be no Santa Claus to visit this year. Abshire said it wasn’t really necessary to have the Jolly Old Elf around.

“We found that (Santa Claus) really wasn’t a big draw here,” Abshire said. “People don’t go to the ice rink to see Santa Claus. They prefer to go to other places where they are used to finding Santa Claus.

As of Wednesday morning, there was still a long way to go to complete the village, including the construction of an observation deck on the public side of the rink.

Hargis said there were always tasks to complete on opening day.

“In the past, we never did all of this on time,” he said.

But Hargis added that the village would be far enough along to make it an enjoyable experience by the time it opens on Friday.

The rink and related equipment are leased from Ice-America, a California-based company that provides temporary rinks to locations and venues across the continent.

Ice-America employee Shawn Kidwell, who made ice cream on Tuesday, said assignments in Port Angeles were coveted within his company.

“It’s the only event every year that we fight for,” he said. “We ask, ‘Who’s the lucky one who can go to (Port Angeles) every year? “

“We love this city – great volunteer work and the whole community is proud. Everyone is so friendly here, and it’s very different from everywhere else we go. “


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