Sept. 10, 2012

Ice on Main plans changes

Ice on Main opens Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and continues through Jan. 21, a holiday for many in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Originally conceived as a fun activity to help fill the void of major downtown events during the winter season, Ice on Main's popularity exceeded expectations during its first year, leading organizers to extend the original schedule by more than a week and to plan for a longer run this year.

City officials "hoped it would be a tradition for many years to come," said Dana Souza, director of parks and recreation for the city of Greenville. "Our vision has become a reality."

Skaters and visitors will notice a few changes to the rink, most notably transparent dasher boards, the walls that enclose the rink.

The opaque walls used last year "cut down on the visual appearance of the skaters and the falls," said Bo Aughtry with Windsor/Aughtry Company, the developer of the Main@Broad complex and leading sponsor of the event.

"It's like going to NASCAR and not being able to see the wrecks," he said with a laugh.

Visitors also will find more seating for observers and improved seasonal decor. There also will be some technical improvements that won't be obvious to the average skater but will improve the operation of the rink, Souza said.

Special events are planned throughout the season, including a family discount night sponsored by the Greenville Hospital System, free skate events sponsored by Spinx and opportunities to skate alongside Greenville Road Warriors players.

Admission to Ice on Main will be $10 for adults, $8 for children, which includes skate rental. Hours and event information are available online at www.iceonmain.com.

By: Amy Clarke Burns           Greenville News