Ya­m­aguchi to open Down­town Ice skat­ing rink

Olympic cham­pion spon­sors fa­cil­ity for eighth sea­son

The Mercury News - - Local News - Con­tact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@ ba­yare­anews­group.com.

The ice is freez­ing, the hot co­coa stand is un­der con­struc­tion and Down­town Ice — San Jose’s out­door skat­ing rink — is ohso-close to be­ing ready for its open­ing Fri­day night. And the weather fore­cast, which calls for a rainy Thurs­day, looks good for a whole bunch of open­ing week­end events.

Olympic cham­pion fig­ure skater Kristi Ya­m­aguchi will be there Fri­day to help open the rink at a 6 p.m. cer­e­mony, fol­lowed by $5 skat­ing for the pub­lic un­til mid­night. This will be the eighth sea­son Ya­m­aguchi has been a ti­tle spon­sor, but the San Jose Down­town As­so­ci­a­tion has switched her co-spon­sor. Hawai­ian Air­lines is out and Toy­ota has signed up to take its place. Hawai­ian pro­vided leis to VIPs at the open­ing cer­e­mony and in­spired the pop­u­lar “Aloha Fri­day” dis­counts, so we’ll be watch­ing to see what Toy­ota comes up with.

The open­ing week­end fun con- tin­ues with the Ugly Sweater Skat­ing Party on Satur­day. Just show up in your un­fash­ion­able win­ter jumper and you can skate from noon to mid­night for $10. And Sun­day, the San Jose Sharks will have their slap­shot booth at the Cir­cle of Palms from 6 to 9 p.m. and lov­able mas­cot S.J. Sharkie will hit the ice at 7:30 p.m.

The rink’s hours vary, but gen­er­ally it’s open at 5 p.m. dur­ing the week and at noon on week­ends un­til Dec. 18, when it’s open longer to ac­com­mo­date fam­i­lies on win­ter break. A sea­son pass, which in­cludes VIP en­try, is avail­able for $75 per per­son — which is a deal if you plan to go at least five times be­fore the rink closes Jan. 15.

Check www.down­town­icesj.com for hours, prices and spe­cial events.

TAK­ING THE PLUNGE >> Sil­i­con Val­ley Lead­er­ship Group CEO Carl Guardino has gone to great lengths to get peo­ple in­volved in the Ap­plied Ma­te­ri­als Sil­i­con Val­ley Tur­key Trot over the past 13 years, but Fri­day, we’ll see what icy depths he and other race sup­port­ers are will­ing to go to.

At the “Splunk” Sun­ny­vale Sports Base­ment Packet Pick-Up & Race Expo on Fri­day, Sil­i­con Val­ley com­mu­nity lead­ers will take turns in a dunk tank to raise ad­di­tional money for the the five char­i­ties that ben­e­fit from the Tur­key Trot — Se­cond Har­vest Food Bank of Santa Clara & San Ma­teo Coun­ties, Santa Cruz Food Bank, Health­ier Kids Foun­da­tion, The Health Trust and Hous­ing Trust Sil­i­con Val­ley.

For $25, peo­ple will get three shots to sub­merge Guardino, Splunk CEO Doug Mer­ritt, Moun­tain View Mayor Ken Rosen­berg, Health­ier Kids Foun­da­tion CEO Kath­leen King, Assem­bly­man Ash Kalra, Hous­ing Trust Sil­i­con Val­ley CEO Kevin Zwick and oth­ers. Start­ing with Guardino at noon, each will pull a 30-minute shift in the tank at Sports Base­ment, 1177 Kern Ave. There is, it’s worth not­ing, no limit to the num­ber of times you do­nate and keep try­ing. It’s all for a good cause, af­ter all.

And there’s still time to reg­is­ter for the Thanks­giv­ing Day race in down­town San Jose, which has raised nearly $7 mil­lion for lo­cal char­i­ties since it was founded in 2005. Go to www.sv­turkeytrot.com for de­tails.

LIGHT­ING THE WAY >> San Jose’s City Hall tower and ro­tunda are be­ing lit pur­ple this week, but it has noth­ing to do with the col­or­ful Sonic Run­way art in­stal­la­tion on the plaza.

It’s in honor of the March of Dimes ob­ser­vance of Pre­ma­tu­rity Aware­ness Month, and the city also will mark World Pre­ma­tu­rity Day on Fri­day with a com­mu­nity photo at city hall at 6 p.m.

JIM GENSHEIMER — STAFF FILE PHOTO

Down­town Ice, San Jose’s out­door skat­ing rink, will open for the sea­son Fri­day night.

Sal Pizarro Colum­nist

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