Yamaguchi to open Downtown Ice skating rink
Olympic champion sponsors facility for eighth season
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.
Downtown Ice, San Jose’s outdoor skating rink, will open for the season Friday night.