ROCKINGHAM — Children both young and old will soon be able to lace up their skates when Tri City Inc. opens up its ice skating rink at the Richmond Plaza Shopping Center.
According to Gabrielle Goodwin, marketing leasing manager for Tri City Inc., the rink is scheduled to be finished this week and open at 5 p.m. on Monday, but due to weather complications, that date could possibly be moved back a couple of days.
Regardless of start time, a new feature this year will be clear borders on the rink similar to what someone would see at a hockey arena.
Now in its second year, Goodwin said the whole point is to give kids something to do and to give back to local charities.
“This year the local charities that the money from the ice rink will be going to is AMVETS Post 316 and Sandhills Children’s Center,” she said. “Last year we did Toys for Tots. We use all different local charities. We want everyone to benefit from it.”
In addition to the new paneling, Goodwin added that this year’s rink will be closer to the ground.
“It’s not as high this year. It’s more eye level,” she said. “Last year, to pass code, we had to build it up so we moved it to another location (in the parking lot) on level ground.”
Special appearances by Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” Santa Claus, Superman and Batman are all expected, and Goodwin said folks can check the shopping center’s Facebook for dates.
The ice rink will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, keeping it open seven days a week until Jan. 7.
“Last year we talked about closing one of the days. We do have to pay for some workers. We can’t have all volunteers cause the ice rink takes a lot of attention,” said Goodwin. “So that’s why we thought about closing a day last year. It’s slow during the week with school so we talked about closing on Mondays, but we’re gonna be open.”
Cost to skate will be $5 and includes 45 minutes of skating, and sponsorships are still being accepted for $250 with all money going to local charities.
“We got the idea last year, and we thought that it would be something great for the community and local charities as kind of a way for Tri City to give back,” Goodwin said. “With the remodel of the shopping center, it brings people to the shopping center and helps our tenants out. It gives something for the kids to do, gives back to local charities and shopping at the local shopping center.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.