Ice rink ready to open in downtown Columbia - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Ice rink ready to open in downtown Columbia

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Sharpen your skates and put on the mittens. There's an outdoor ice skating rink coming to downtown Columbia.

We don't take too kindly to ice around these parts. Even a glimpse of the white stuff clears streets and cancels school, but this year we're paying to put it on Main Street.

"We're hoping it will beef up some business in downtown Columbia and it's just a wonderful addition to recreation in the capital city," says Tezra Haire, Columbia Parks and Recreation spokesperson.

Yes, you're looking at what will be an outdoor skating rink in one of the hottest cities in the south.

From California and Arizona to South Carolina and Florida, Magic Ice transforms places in warm climates to freezing rinks.

Johnny the "Ice Guy" Ingram says this is actually one of his easier setups. "This is an ideal location because it has so much shade from the Wells Fargo building and others," says Ingram.

From a 200 ton chiller, they cool anti-freeze down to around 5 degrees. Then they pump the liquid through a network of tubes. Water is then flooded into the rink and in a few days, it's ready for skaters.

"I actually had one city manager who looked at me and said it will never work," says Ingram smiling. "I told him we'd skate on it when it was done. So I had to give a few lessons."

The rink opens on Thanksgiving and will be open until January 13. Skating passes are $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.

The rink will be open seven days a week with the following operating hours:

Monday –Thursday, 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.  

The rink will be closed on Christmas Day.

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