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Skating on a circle of ice set in a wintry background is a popular holiday image. The Los Alamos Recreation Department, however, is adding more seasonal spirit to the picture.
Skate with Santa will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. Santa and his posse will continue to mingle with the public from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission will be $6.50 for adults and $2.50 for children age 5 and younger both days.
Not only can skaters take their picture with Santa and socialize with his elves, but they will also get a candy cane.
The merriment continues with a luminaria skate from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 24 at the ice rink. Admission will again be $6.50 for adults and $2.50 for children age 5 and younger. The fee includes a hot drink.
Dianne Marquez, manager of the ice rink, explained she got the idea for the Skate with Santa during several trainings she attended.
Other ice rinks, she said, held similar events and Marquez decided to implement the program locally.
The luminaria skate was also inspired by similar events. Marquez said there are many luminaria tours and it was decided to adopt a similar event at the ice rink.
Votive candles are lit in paper bags through the ice rink, holiday music is played and skaters can take to the ice.
Marquez said both activities are real holiday treats for participants.
The Skate with Santa event “(is) a little different and fun. It gets kids excited,” she said.
Plus, Santa and his elves seem to enjoy mingling with children just as much as the children enjoy hanging out with them.
The luminaria skate offers a nice contrast to the busyness of the holiday, Marquez added.
Looking at the ice rink season so far, things seem to be going well.
Marquez said the numbers for hockey have been really great and the hockey association has added a new program called stick and puck, which introduces first-time players age 18 and younger to the game.
“(There’s) a lot of activity on the weekends,” Marquez said. “People are having a great time. It’s been a great season.”
The ice rink provides more than just something to do for those who are out of school or visiting from out of town, it enhances the community. “We think it is such an important factor here in the community,” Marquez said, “not only historically but it gives a sense of community.”