No, it’s not a joke like the much maligned Ferris Wheel. Ice on the Landing is soon to be reality thanks to Chattanooga Presents! and several sponsors from around the city, says Chattanooga Presents! Executive Director Carla Pritchard.
The 50-by-70-foot ice rink will open November 28, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Its opening corresponds with the Chattanooga Lighted Boat Parade, which Carla says will be a great kick-off to the holiday season.
“It opens on Black Friday, right after Thanksgiving when we’re in full swing of the holidays,” Carla says. “People are going to come out and bring their families and make memories here and it’s going to be a really cool thing for Chattanooga.”
Chattanooga’s been calling for an ice rink for as long as Carla can remember, she says. It felt like a missing piece to the city which already offers so many fun events like River Rocks, Nightfall and the Four Bridges Arts Festival.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind, and when I talked to people about it, a lot of them really thought that it would fit,” she says. “Years ago there was an ice rink where Track 29 is, of course, and I think the time is definitely right to bring it back.”
Logistically, it doesn’t sound feasible to build an ice rink in a Southern town that rarely sees prolonged freezing temperatures. But thanks to new-fangled technology, and a lot of help from acclaimed ice rink specialists Magic Ice USA, Chattanooga’s going to make it work.
“There’s a lot that goes into it, and honestly we really wanted the Chattanooga Green to be the location, it’s just ideal,” Carla says. “But while the location makes perfect sense, there are other things …. we’ve got to create a laser level surface for instance, have plenty of power supply, etc.”
Carla talked with cities that share similar climates, like Charlotte, North Carolina and Greenville South Carolina, when planning the ice rink. She depended on their successes to bring the ice rink to Chattanooga. And the rink will be open air, so ice skaters can enjoy the blue winter skies or even the clear nights while skating.
“It’s winter, so a lot of the outdoor activities that are so great in Chattanooga aren’t as pleasant because of the weather,” Carla says. “This is going to be a totally different ambiance and aesthetic, and it’ll be great.”
The ice rink will be open daily and feature different themed nights, activities and even shows for skaters to enjoy. The $10 ticket cost will include the price of the skate rentals, and skaters can skate as much as they want while at the rink.
“We’re just really hoping that families come out here and enjoy this and make memories,” she says. “It’s going to be a great experience and I want to bring it back year after year.”
Ice on the Landing will open on Friday, November 28. It will be open daily through January 4. For more information about rink hours, visit iceonthelanding.com.