4. Skating away
A family enjoys an ice-capade in The Square, with the rink up and running for school holiday enjoyment.
The Palmerston North Ice Rink and Ice Slide has returned to the city and will prove to be a popular school holiday activity.
Ice Projects International managing director Craig Douglas and his team have installed the 35 by 15 metre rink in The Square and it’s already open for business
A week of preparation prior to the rink’s opening involved levelling the ground with an integrated flooring system, installing three kilometres of aluminium piping clipped together in modules, covering it with boards, flooding the rink with water, pumping glycol into the pipes and connecting power cables to run the chiller system.
The chiller system reduces the temperature to minus 14 degrees Celsius to freeze the water.
In a first for New Zealand, Craig has introducing an ice slide in addition to the rink.
It’s a near four-metre tower on which people will sit on a rubber tube and slide down on to the rink.
‘‘The ice rink and tower are great fun for everyone.
‘‘It’s a time of celebration, a time for people to come out in the middle of winter and enjoy themselves,’’ Craig says .
‘‘What we wanted to do was create New York’s famous Central Park ice rink here in Palmerston North.’’
Craig is hoping the ice rink will inspire a winter festival to celebrate the time of year.
He is working closely with Destination Manawatu to achieve a winter Christmas party and will stage his own mid-winter event on July 5.
‘‘We want to involve the community and make it a real celebration including the singing of Christmas carols,’’ he says.
Craig’s company is based in Canterbury but he’s now establishing ice rinks around the world. In 2011 he brought international ice hockey to New Zealand where teams from the United States and Canada played exhibition games in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The technology that created the rink the teams played on is the same that makes ice skating possible in Palmerston North.
In the month that the ice rink and slide in The Square will be in operation in Palmerston North (until July 19), Craig is hoping to attract up to 25,000 people.
‘‘It’s a wonderful outdoor event for the whole family. I’m sure it will be a great drawcard for people in Palmerston North and the surrounding region,’’ Craig says.
Tickets are $20 adults, $15 children.
Skaters take to the ice as the Palmerston North square Ice Rink opens for the season.