Santa Claus came early, is staying late and came for the whole community at the Ralston Arena this year.
Since its opening in October 2012, the arena has hosted a variety of public events, including public ice skating sessions at its auxiliary sheet of ice, just south of the arena’s main bowl.
For the past three weeks, the ice skating sessions have been free and will continue to be so through Jan. 5.
Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates, but a rental will set you back just $3. The arena also offers skate sharpening services for $5.
Amanda Stanosheck, director of marketing at the arena, said the venue generally averages about 20 people per public skating session.
“Our first free public skating session saw a huge increase in that number,” said Stanosheck. “We had about 100 people come out that day. As the word spreads about our public skating during the kids’ holiday break, we are confident attendance will increase even more.”
In the week leading up to and immediately following Christmas, crowds of 300 and 400 people packed in for the sessions between noon and 4 p.m.
Stanosheck also mentioned the extraordinary feedback the arena has received from the public.
“We’ve seen a significant number of shares and positive comments through our social media pages,” she said.
The public ice skating takes place in the community rink, which is where the Lancers practice and where other local hockey leagues and figure skating clubs also have a base of operations.
When the rink isn’t being used by these various groups, it is open for public skating.
After Sunday, public skating will return to the original price of $5 per person with a $3 rental.
For a full list of the Ralston Arena’s public skating dates and times, visit ralstonarena.com or call 402-934-9966.