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Opening Thursday: Main Street ICE brings a bit of winter fun to Columbia

Ice skating on Boyd Plaza
Ice skating on Boyd Plaza File photo/The State

Columbia’s popular Main Street ICE returns for a third year, bringing its nostalgic brand of family fun and razor sharp excitement back to the Midlands.

Constructed in Boyd Plaza, in front of the Columbia Museum of Art at Main and Hampton streets, the man-made outdoor ice skating rink was something the capital city was missing during the holidays.

“The purpose of the ice skating rink was to bring residents and families downtown to Main Street,” said Shireese M. Bell, a public relations specialist for the city of Columbia. “We wanted to bring a feature to the city that we hadn’t had before – to give our citizens and visitors something that they can do during the holiday season, and we came up with this idea. We were looking for a central location, and Main Street was perfect to have this outdoor ice skating rink.”

After the rink is formed, a system of coils connected to a chiller keeps the ice firm and several inches thick – enough to support 75 to 100 people at a time or the 14,000 people who were drawn to the event each of the past two years.

The rink has been a hit with its Thanksgiving Day opening, drawing long lines of folks ready to skate off their holiday dinners.

It also will be a popular part of the annual Famously Hot New Year celebration on Main Street.

“We’ll have food vendors, carnival games, rides, a 30-foot Ferris wheel ... We connect all of that to celebrate the New Year,” said Bell.

As far as amenities, the admission fee does include skate rental. And concessions are in the works, but Bell wants to encourage attendees to think about gliding down to a local business or two while in the Main Street area.

“In the past, we did sell hot chocolate and things like that, but there are businesses along Main street within walking distance that we’d like people to visit,” said Bell. “I hope everyone can come out and have a great time.”

If you go

Main Street ICE

WHEN: Opens 5-10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, and runs through Monday, Jan. 18

WHERE: Boyd Plaza, in front of Columbia Museum of Art, Main and Hampton streets

COST: Opening day: $8, adults; $5, children 12 and younger. Afterward, Monday-Wednesday: $8, adults; $5, children 12 and younger; Thursday-Sunday: $10, adults; $8, children 12 and younger; $8, active duty military with ID and seniors 55 and older

INFO: Hours, group rates and other details, (803) 545-3100

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