Get ready Folsom, the holiday season is here and along with it comes the tradition of ice skating in the heart of the City’s festive Historic District. If all goes as planned, the beloved Historic Folsom Holiday Ice Rink is slated to open this Friday, Nov. 10.
This year, the ice rink returns to a familiar place with a whole new look and feel. After being moved a few feet from from its longtime location last year, its back to its original placement the patrons loved, circling the city’s historic railroad turntable in the heart of the Historic Folsom Plaza. While its home sweet home for the unique circular rink, it comes with a menagerie of vast improvements, some of which were shipped thousands of miles to benefit Folsom skaters like never before.
“We have new and more efficient equipment and a larger chiller, with more capacity this year,” explained Emery Lykins, President of Special Ice, the company and the skilled team that has been busy over the last several weeks prepping the rink site and as of late, making ice. “So, with a little luck from the weather gods, we’ll deliver the best skating experience the community has ever seen.
As Lykins cites, the 2023 version of the Historic Folsom Ice Rink brings a whole new look to Folsom this year, along with quality of ice that is sure to be exceptional. Lykins, together with the Folsom Historic District Association (FHDA) has been assembling top notch components and equipment this year. That equipment didn’t come from down the street either, it made its way all the way to Folsom from a well reputed company in Italy, known as Realice -Intercom Dr. Leitner.
Realice was selected by the FHDA with the guidance of Lykins. Their reputation in the unique industry is second to none. They have been behind some of the most notable and unique ice rinks across the globe, as far away as Vienna and Dubai. Now, the great community of Folsom will grace their resume. According to Lykins, the unique community of Folsom is deserving of such an endeavor.
“This event represents our first time creating a skating experience like this, and we’re doing it with equipment from a new manufacturer for us, out of Italy. The Realice team has been with us every step of the way, and we’re excited to be their U.S. representative,” said Lykins. “Like any first-time event, we’ve had our hiccups and learning curves along the way, as we get used to some new designs, but we have a great team all around, and it’s really refreshing having a support system like the FHDA.”
The sights of white PVC pipe and plexiglass rails are a thing of the past in Historic Plaza. This year’s new and improved rink is constructed of quality wood railings that are more attractive and fit in better with the surroundings of the Historic Plaza. The look will give patrons a truly unique experience without the excessive signage and other distractions, and let’s not leave out the most important part – the ice!
Over recent years, the quality of Folsom’s ice has been an issue. Last year the rink was relocated when the FHDA learned that the power supply to the location was not adequate to power the proper sized chiller for the size of the circular rink. The rink was downsized and moved to a lower parking area last year temporarily, while organizers began to make plans for the future to do what it takes to bring Folsom’s iconic circular rink back in grand fashion. Fast forward to the present, their mission is about to be accomplished and the community of Folsom will reap the benefits.
“The Folsom Ring Rink is as iconic as they come in this industry, and we’re just so excited about being part of the team to bring it back to life. It’s a great event, in an amazing community, with an incredible team that supports it,” said Lykins. Judy Collinsworth and the FHDA team have such a passion for ensuring the event highlights the very best of Folsom, and we couldn’t be happier to be in their corner. A lot of cities have seasonal ice rinks, but few are as identifiable as the Folsom ring rink.”
In addition to the upgrade on the rink, the FHDA has purchased a new supply of ice skates this year as well. Ice skates are included with the price of admission and not separate. The new skates will be another contributor to the patron’s experience.
Much of this has all been made possible by the generous presenting sponsorship of Bayside Church of Folsom and a long list of community businesses that have also sponsored the 2023 facility. The annual Historic Folsom Ice Rink comes with great expenses each year. The mission of the FHDA is to cover all costs during the season in an effort to give the community and those outside of the community a unique destination to enjoy, shop and dine during the holiday season.
“We’re all working to accomplish the same thing, and when we’re done, we’re all going to have something we can all be very proud of,” added Lykins.
After being a hit last year, there will be offerings at the rink this year including Smore’s kits and firepit sessions. Nearby Willamette Wineworks will be serving wine on select days and of course, there will be hot cocoa available for purchase on select days provided by Sweet Dozen Cones, soup from Scott’s Seafood and more.
“The amount of community support for the Folsom Ice Rink has been tremendous this year. We have so many new sponsors, it’s exciting,” said FHDA Executive Director Judy Collinsworth. “If you want to feel the magic of the holidays this is truly the place to come. “You can even get a glass of wine or soup and sit out on the patio above the rink every Friday and Saturday, or rent a fire pit and enjoy s’mores and listen to the holiday music. What could be better?”
Tickets for ice skating can be purchased easily online on the venue’s official website which is www.folsomicerink.com. General admission for skaters 10 and up will be $20 which includes ice skates. Kids 4-9 will be $16. According to the FHDA the smallest skate size is an “8 junior” which typically fits a four year old.
Skate assist devices can be rented for a session as needed. Firepit area rentals are also available for special gatherings along with the aforementioned S’mores kits. Group rates, rink buyouts and field trips will also be available with special arrangements. They will also be offering skating lessons on Saturdays for those who are interested in honing their skills. See the rink website for all of the details on the many opportunities.
Once the ice is fully cured and ready for skates, the Historic Folsom Ice Rink will officially open on Friday. Organizers are hoping all will be ready for the fun as of 10 a.m. Once opened the rink will remain in operation until Jan. 15. The various sessions for the rink will be available as follows:
Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays:2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, & 10pm sessions.
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays:10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, & 10pm sessions.
Prior to December, the Historic Folsom Christmas Tree will be hoisted into the center of the rink and will be illuminated on Friday, Dec. 1.