In addition to the large Christmas tree and lighting already in place, Festival Square in Downtown Lethbridge will soon feature a seasonal skating rink for winter enthusiasts to enjoy.
Installation for the ice rink began Monday with an anticipated opening and first skate set for Friday, December 9. When it opens to the public, operating hours will be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
The rink will feature a real ice surface, unlike the synthetic surface present at the site in 2019. It is designed for recreational skating and hockey won't be permitted.
The rink itself was previously purchased by a student group from the University of Lethbridge with funding through the Re-Imagine Downtown grant. They were hoping to have a downtown outdoor rink last year, but were unable to complete the project before spring. The equipment was retained and will now be used for this project.
Ice resurfacing and maintenance will be ongoing, with the intent to have the rink in place as long as weather permits into 2023.
"Our goal is to further create a unique and family-friendly space at Festival Square for both the holiday season and the winter months," says Justin Schipper, Project Administrator for Opportunity Lethbridge at the City of Lethbridge. "We are very excited and envision this as a mini Rockefeller Plaza experience right here in the heart of Downtown Lethbridge."
"We are pleased to have another wonderful feature and use for the revamped Festival Square," says Emily Chong, Marketing & Communications Manager with the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone.
Signage and general rules for users will be posted at the site when it opens.
The BRZ is also looking at hosting some specific events at the rink, with more details to be announced.