The holiday season has officially kicked off in the heart of Folsom Friday morning with the grand opening of the new and improved Historic Folsom Holiday Ice Rink. The addition in the heart of the season will now operate daily through mid-January thanks to the tireless efforts of the Folsom Historic District Association (FHDA) over the last several months to bring a state of the art facility to the city.
Not long after the sun came up Friday, the rink was bustling with activity as the FHDA hosted area media outlets just prior to the official opening to the public. The event included members of the FHDA Board, local business owners as well as sponsors, including presenting sponsor Bayside Church of Folsom. It wasn’t long before members from the community starting showing up to be some of the first one’s on the ice for 2023.
After moving a few feet away from its longtime location last year due to technical challenges, this year’s rink has returned to the circle the iconic railroad turntable in the middle of the Historic Plaza. The upgrade and the return to the location was a venture that came with an added expenses in which community sponsors helped fund.
“This has been a team effort and the amount of community support has been tremendous this year, said FHDA Executive Director Judy Collinsworth. “If you want to feel the magic of the holidays this is truly the place to come.”
One of the most important improvements this year is the quality of the ice, along with the professional company that installed and is overseeing the operation of the rink.
“Among all the improvements, we have a great ice this year like we have never had before and we even have a profession ice technician on site seven days a week to insure we always have great ice to skate on.”
While the rink is back in its original location with quality ice, it also has numerous other features, much 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. 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 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,” Lykins told Folsom Times in an interview this past week. “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.”
This year’s 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. Sponsorship of the rink is still well represented throughout the venue with custom built signage installed in an eye appealing fashion.
In addition to the upgrade on the rink, the FHDA has purchased a new supply of ice skates this year as well that are expected to arrive and join their fleet of skates they purchased last year to insure plenty of skates are always available. Ice skates are included with the price of admission and not separate like in the past.
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 are so excited. Folsom deserves a rink of this quality,” said Jim Snook, owner of Snook’s Candies and President of the FHDA Board of Directors. “It rings a bell, Italian Ice. We actually have a sister city in Italy so it seems fitting. This is top notch, this is Dubai, Vienna, Austria, this is world class. Come out and support us as this is very costly to put on. We want to thank our title sponsor Bayside Church they not only sponsor but provide us volunteers in the district for many events. We had record sponsorship this year, so the community has really come out knowing how important this is for Folsom.”
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.
“I absolutely love it. I think this is a great addition to the community and for bringing the community together, “ said FHDA Board Member Suzanne Cook, owner of Scott’s Seafood that overlooks the rink. “We have often said that this center is socially, culturally and historically ground zero for the City of Folsom, there are so many things that go on down here in the district. It is so fun to see people out here with their kids, people on first dates, people celebrating anniversaries. This is like a Hallmark Movie right here.”
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.
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.
Folsom Times Images by Bill Sullivan