IT’S time to get your skates on – York’s open-air ice rink will officially open tonight with displays of dancing, African drumming and even “Pudsey on ice” to link in with Children In Need.
The Ice Factor is bringing festive cheer back to the Eye of York, below Clifford’s Tower, for the fourth year running.
More than 45,000 people took to the ice last Christmas, and organiser Maria Farrugia says that in excess of 110,000 have visited it since it was first organised, with bookings strong again for this year.
“Record numbers are once again expected this year,” said James Cundall, chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, the company behind The Ice Factor.
“With our new discounts, schools partnership and the only real ice ice rink in Yorkshire over the Christmas period, we have tried to perfect the festive experience every visitor gets on or off the ice even more this year.”
A team of workers have been on site for the past fortnight creating the rink.
Maria said: “Our opening night is as eclectic as previous years, with a guest appearance from Leah Bracknell, star of Emmerdale, who is appearing in the Grand Opera House pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk.
“In addition to Leah, we have some African drummers starting the season off with a bang.
“The star of the evening though, is The Ice Factor’s very own Ryan Thornton, who will be skating a choreographed piece specially created for The Ice Factor.”
She said Ryan was the resident Skate School teacher for The Ice Factor this year and wowed visitors with his skating last year. “Skate School starts on Saturday, November 22 and places are still available.”
Parties of schoolchildren during term-time are being offered 15 minute coaching sessions by fully qualified ice skating coaches. “It’s a great opportunity for children to get the most out of their session on the ice, by giving them a helping hand to start them off. Schools from across North Yorkshire are already booking places.”
The rink will be open for public skating from 10am tomorrow, with hour-long sessions daily (except Christmas Day) until 9.45pm on Sunday, January 4.
Tickets for one-hour sessions cost £8.95 for adults and £7.95 for children and concessions.
As reported previously, residents who can produce a York Card at the ringside box office can skate away with a £2.50 discount for weekday sessions, up to and including the 5pm session, until December 18.
Article originally featured on www.thepress.co.uk
Last Updated: 8th December 2008 10:48am