SAN JOSE — Skaters will once again glide under the palm trees of Downtown Ice, an outdoor rink set between the San Jose Museum of Art and Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose, starting Nov. 18.
Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, her Always Dream Foundation (www.alwaysdream.org) and Hawaiian Airlines also return to help promote the seasonal holiday tradition.
“I am honored to be associated with such a beautiful outdoor holiday rink,” Yamaguchi said. “Downtown San Jose is a wonderful family destination during the holidays.”
Hawaiian Airlines/Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice continues through Jan. 29, 2012, at the Circle of Palms location on Market Street across from Christmas in the Park. The normal 60-day run extends an additional 13 days this season so that skating fans visiting downtown for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (Jan. 22-29) can enjoy the rink.
Yamaguchi, hula dancers and musicians, and representatives of key sponsors will participate in a grand opening celebration at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21. Yamaguchi will greet and skate with the general public after the ceremony.
More than 40,000 skaters and thousands more spectators are expected to visit the rink as part of their holiday celebrations. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the center city to skate, stroll Christmas in the Park, ride Winter Wonderland amusements and enjoy arts performances such as “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol.”
Mayor Chuck Reed appealed to Silicon Valley businesses organizations and individuals to boost financing for the anchor events of Downtown for the Holidays: Christmas in the Park and the ice rink. The City of San Jose faces a budget shortage and cannot subsidize these events at past levels. As of Oct. 1, the Downtown for the Holidays fundraising effort had reached 80 percent of its $320,000 goal. To make a donation, visit www.sjdowntown.com/holidays or email Blage Zelalich at [email protected]
“People come from all over to stay, eat and shop here during these events,” said Carl Guardino of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who estimated sales totaling more than $15 million resulting from the holiday activities. “We all need to do our part.”
Visitors to the rink are encouraged to embrace Hawaiian Airline’s “aloha” spirit by purchasing discounted tickets from San Jose to the islands. Go to http://hawaiianair.com/Affiliate and use code “SJDA.”
Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its Bay Area service to Maui, with its launch of three nonstop flights from San Jose each week starting January 2012.
Downtown Ice is in its 16th season overall and eighth year under the palms. For most of November and early December, the rink is generally open 5 to 9 p.m. weeknights, 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. During the busiest time of the season, Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, the rink will generally open at 11 a.m. and close at midnight.
Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, 2 p.m. to midnight
Day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, noon to midnight
Christmas, Dec. 25, 2 p.m. to midnight
New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, noon to 10 p.m.
New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2 p.m. to midnight
Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 16, noon to 9 p.m.
Admission prices remain the same as past years: $15 for adults and $13 for children 10 and under, including skate rental and unlimited time on the ice.
The rink is produced by the San Jose Downtown Association, which represents business and property owners and works to enhance downtown’s vitality and livability.
For more information, visit www.sjdowntown.com or call the rink at (408) 291-0525.