Photos & videos: Columbia’s ice skating rink is open

hcahill@thestate.comNovember 27, 2013 

  • By the numbers Main Street Ice at Boyd Plaza opens at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the corner of Main and Hampton streets. 3,000 gallons

    The amount of water that must be pumped in to create a 2-inch thick layer of ice across the 3,000-square-foot skating rink. An additional 50 gallons is used for each re-coating.

    5 degrees Fahrenheit

    Temperature at which the ice is kept for optimal skating conditions. The white color of the ice is actually a white paint that is used between layers of ice coating to give it a wintry effect.

    $8

    Ticket prices start at $8 for skating

    SOURCE: Magic Ice USA and City of Columbia Parks and Recreation

— Famously hot Columbia will cool down this winter as the Main Street ice skating rink on Boyd Plaza opened for a second season Thursday.

City officials expect a larger turnout this year for Main Street Ice compared to the nearly 14,000 skaters that participated in 2012, despite a slightly shorter season. The rink will remain open until Jan. 20.

“We hope we will see a larger turnout,” said Jeff Caton, director of Columbia Parks and Recreation. “The reality is that we are going to be opening a week later because of Thanksgiving (falling later than last year). The promotional activities we have planned will hopefully make up for that lost time.”

Some of the promotions the city has planned for Main Street Ice include:

Thanksgiving Day: Opening day activities, 5-10 p.m., include live music and a DJ, face painting, games and giveaways.

Dec. 21: Winterfest, noon to 4 p.m. Skaters can skate with Santa, and view skating exhibitions, ice sculpting exhibits and holiday crafts. The event also includes face painting and games and the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest.

Dec 31: WOW! New Year’s Eve Carnival, 4-10 p.m., featuring rides, games, karaoke, food and drink vendors and craft exhibits to ring in the New Year.

Amid a flurry of weather and technical delays, setup crews from Magic Ice USA have worked to construct the skating rink in the middle of downtown at the corner of Main and Hampton streets. City officials say that from a hospitality standpoint the ice rink encourages families to get out of their homes and experience what the city has to offer this holiday season.

WATCH the rink come together