L.A. skates on ice in Pershing Square

Ashley Lyn Sourapas
Staff Writer

Pershing Square glistened with holiday cheer and children’s laughter as families and friends joined together for an eventful holiday filled night to remember.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks presented the 14th annual Downtown on Ice outdoor skating rink at the historic Pershing Square.

The grand opening was on Nov. 17 and will continue to be open seven days a week, including all major holidays, through Jan. 16.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks put in a great deal of hard work to make this event happen. They began setup Oct. 17 and it took an entire month to have the rink ready to skate on.

“Our goal is to provide a holiday activity for intercity kids and their families to join together for an affordable night they will never forget,” Anna Maria, 14 year supervisor of Downtown on Ice, said.

Intercity children and their families from after school programs and other organizations were invited to see Snoopy on ice and enjoy a free night of skating and entertainment.

“My 10 year-old daughter attends a torturing program after school and was invited tonight,” Kim Washington, a first time guest, said. “We have enjoyed it so much that I’m definitely bringing my daughter back.”

The rink is lined with palm trees wrapped with numerous strands of Christmas lights. Holiday music filled the air and added to the enchanted feel.

A skate session per person is $6 and to rent ice skates is an additional $2 fee.

Many onlookers watched skaters, young and old, skate with the occasional fall and continue on.

“It’s a great family environment and is so relaxing to watch the ice skaters,” Alba Torres, Los Angeles resident and fifth year guest, said.

Four employees were on the ice, lending assistance to the falling children and adult beginners.

Two professional ice skaters dressed in holiday costumes went around to different children and gave them quick one-on-one lessons.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday is the Winter Festival and is the most looked forward to event of the season.

“There will be face painting, special ice skating shows, a cheer competition, train rides, real snow for kids to play in, Santa pictures and even real reindeers,” Maria said.

Twelve Nights of Christmas goes from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 12 to 23, and each night they will celebrate a different culture’s tradition.

“Where else is there ice in downtown,” Bryan Allen, manager of Downtown on Ice, said.

For more information, visit laparks.org/pershingsquare or email pershing.square@lacity.org.

Ashley Lyn Sourapas can be reached at ashley.sourapas@laverne.edu.

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