Summer’s coming and ice-skating may not be on most people’s minds, but it’s becoming a reality in Placerville.
The Placerville Drive Business Association is planning to host the “Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink,” at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds from Dec. 14, to Jan. 5. The limited family friendly activities available to El Dorado County families, especially during the holidays when school is not in session, will receive a big boost and the PDBA hopes for 10,000 skaters during the run of the event.
“I grew up with roller rinks,” said Bridgett Hartshorn, a member of the Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink Committee, “and I watch my teenagers struggle with having nothing to do.” Hearing about ice rinks in Tahoe and in Folsom sparked an interest. “If they could do it, why not Placerville?” said Hartshorn. “Placerville is perfect for an ice rink.”
The idea found immediate favor with the entire PDBA Board of Directors. “Then it started taking off like a freight train. The fair jumped on board. They aren’t even charging us to use the fairgrounds for those three weeks,” said Hartshorn.
The PDBA is partnering with a company that has been doing ice rinks throughout the state to create a temporary ice rink between the main fairground entrance and the Forni Building.
“It will be a regulation-sized rink with a rail around it and there will be safety bars available for people who want them,” said Hartshorn. “Folsom’s ice rink is like a race track with a hole in the center, but ours will be solid, so we can have skating demonstrations.”
The outdoor rink will be expensive, but Hartshorn said it is very doable, especially with the help of community sponsors. Ice skates will be available to rent for $2 and there will be a fee per session which will run either an hour or an hour and a half in length. In addition, the ice rink itself can be rented — for birthday parties, corporate holiday parties, for individual or for group skate time.
“Not everyone wants to skate,” said Hartshorn, “but they do want something to do. So we will have Theme Nights on the weekends which a lot of people will want to watch and there will be beer and wine for sale in the evenings.”
A holiday village with food, crafts and seasonal items will surround the rink, giving people watching the skaters or waiting for their session to begin something of interest to explore. Theme nights, some already planned, like Girls’ Night, Zombie Apocalypse Night or Rock & Roll Night, are available for sponsorship — and some creativity if you want to plan your own. Live bands are planned to perform on theme nights.
Ideas are still flowing and there is talk of a drive -around Christmas lights display at the fairgrounds. “We’d like this to be an every year event and add to it to make a Winterfest with multiple events happening at the fairgrounds,” said Hartshorn. “We’ve got the room; we can do all kind of things.”
With the planning completed, the ice rink partner in place and the fairgrounds committed to the Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink, all the PDBA needs now is sponsors. They have a wide variety of sponsorships available, from a full-on event sponsor to Zamboni sponsor, skate rental hut sponsor, theme night sponsors, sponsors on ice, to sponsoring skaters from the Boys and Girls club, there’s a way for many people and businesses in the community to participate.
For more information about the Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink, including sponsorships and vendor booths, visit the Website at HangtownHolidayIceRink.com.