Claremore residents can lace up ice skates and twirl around the new synthetic ice skating rink adjacent to the 50-ft Christmas tree on the Claremore Expo Center grounds this week.
“It’s a great outdoor activity, especially for kids,” said Tanya Andrews, Executive Director of Claremore Expo and Tourism Development. “This will be something new for them to experience and it is going to be great family fun.”
The rink was ready for skaters Monday night during the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony for a preview. It opens for the season beginning Saturday at approximately 7 p.m. following the Christmas parade.
The 2017 Christmas Parade begins about 5:30 p.m. and will travel from the Expo Center down Will Rogers Boulevard.
It will be open through December until after the New Year’s Bash on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The rink will be closed on Christmas Eve but will reopen at 5 p.m. on Christmas day.
It is $5 per person per hour to skate, which includes the skates rental. For every one paid adult, two children under 10 can skate for free.
Andrews said the synthetic ice feels like a cutting board but mimics the ice skating experience perfectly. It doesn’t require the same maintenance of a real ice skating rink, especially in warm weather climates. It is installed as large tiles, and Andrews said the rink can expand in the future years by adding more tiles, but the current size should accommodate about 70 people at once.
The rink will also be stored in the Claremore Expo Center for future use.
Staff members were able to test the ice before the new rink began installation in Claremore.
The rink was purchased by the Claremore Expo Center and cost approximately $36,000, which included 100 pairs of skates and a sharpener to maintain the performance of the skates.
Andrews said another added benefit of synthetic ice is it gives families the opportunity to enjoy ice skating without having to travel to Tulsa for the experience.
Volunteers from local nonprofit organizations such as Volunteers for Youth, Claremore High School graduation party committee and Claremore Main Street will operate the rink on different nights and receive 50% of the profits from the evening for their organization.
“It will be a fundraiser for them,” said Andrews.
Corporate Sponsors are also organizing field trips for area schools to visit the ice skating rink.
“A lot of our corporate sponsors are Partners in Education. It’s another great activity for the kiddos. Maybe they will burn off some of that pre-Christmas energy,” said Andrews.