NEW BERN’S HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS TO INCLUDE NEW ICE SKATING RINK
New Bern Parks & Recreation is excited to announce the debut of an ice skating rink just in time for the holiday season. The rink will be open for the first time on Friday, November 25th from 1pm-6pm at Union Point Park. The public is welcome to come out and skate.
The ice skating rink is not refrigerated and can be set up no matter the temperature outside. The skating surface is composed of synthetic panels. Each panel is reversible and measures a half-inch thick and approximately 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. The panels fit together like puzzle pieces, are self-lubricating, and virtually seamless. The City purchased the rink, in partnership with the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce and Swiss Bear, Inc., from KwikRink Synthetic Ice®. The purchase included 75 skates and a skate sharpener. According to KwikRink’s website, their rinks are used by the National Hockey League (NHL), high schools, and professional athletes all over the world.
Once assembled, the rink will measure approximately 60 feet long and 40 feet wide. It can accommodate 30-40 skaters at a time. Parks & Recreation staff will have skates available for rent in children and adult sizes, on a first come, first serve basis. Participants are welcome to bring their own ice skates, but roller skates, in-line skates and skateboards are not permitted (only ice skates!). All participants will be required to complete a liability waiver and adhere to rules for safe skating. Skating will be offered in 45-minute sessions. The fee to skate for a session is $5, which includes skate fitting and rental. Parks & Recreation staff are working on creating an online registration so that friends and families can pre-register in advance.
“Ice skating at Union Point Park is a new event and it brings a unique element to New Bern’s holiday tradition,” said Kari Warren, Interim Parks & Recreation Director. “We encourage families to come out and enjoy it.” Parks & Recreation staff is working on offering a variety of skate theme nights. Additional details on those events will be announced soon.
The schedule for the ice skating rink during the holiday season will be as follows:
- Friday, November 25th, 1pm-6pm
- Thursdays from 4pm-7pm
- Fridays from 4pm-8pm
- Saturdays from 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm
- Sundays from 1pm-6pm
- And other times to be announced (check the Parks & Recreation website & Facebook page)
For the last several years, Union Point Park has transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with festive lights and holiday shapes, and the ice skating rink will add to the appeal of New Bern’s many events leading up to Christmas. Beary Merry “Light Up the Season” begins with the Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday, November 25th at 6pm at Union Point Park, followed by the lighting up of Bear Plaza on Middle Street at 6:45pm. Then, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team Air Show over the Neuse River is Saturday, November 26th at 4:30pm; the city-sponsored annual Christmas parade is Saturday, December 3rd at 3pm downtown; the Coastal Christmas Flotilla along the Neuse and Trent rivers is Saturday, December 3rd at 5:30pm; the Christmas “Movie in the Park” is Saturday, December 16th at 6pm at Union Point Park; and the New Year’s Eve Block Party is Saturday, December 31st, at the corner of Middle and Pollock streets, beginning at 5:30pm. Additional events offered during the Beary Merry Christmas season can be found by clicking here.
“We are excited to partner with the City to bring this amenity to New Bern,” said Lynne Harakal, Executive Director of Swiss Bear, Inc. “This enhances the downtown experience - the New Bern experience - for residents, visitors, and for people who are discovering for the first time what it’s like to spend the holidays in our town. It creates a very big draw to our market.”
Additional announcements regarding the ice skating rink, including special skate nights and expanded operational hours, will be announced on the Parks & Recreation website and on Parks & Recreation’s Facebook page @newbernpr. The City invites residents, visitors, friends and families to lace up their skates this holiday season and join us for ice skating at Union Point Park!