It's the most wonderful time of year again in downtown Tampa, as the outdoor ice skating rink once again is open for business.
The rink is open now through January 5th and what a great way to spend your Friday night, so lace 'em up kids, it's time to hit the ice in downtown Tampa!
"Let's start skating, let's open this thing up!," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn exuberantly. The City and The Tampa Bay Lightning joined forces once again, to let us all enjoy a frosty, holiday feeling.
"I have a 7 year old and an 11 year old, they have been bugging me for four months, asking me daddy, you're the mayor, can you get that ice rink open right now?" Buckhorn joked.
For those people who have never been on ice skates, it can be a daunting experience. There's a whole lotta wobbling going on, but with every trip around the rink, you get a little better.
"A little shaky at first, but you know what, I got the hang of it, and got out there, my daughter encouraged me," said Melissa Lyons.
This was Lyon's first time on the ice. Her 9-year-old daughter Haley held her hand and helped her get through it.
"It's her first time," said Haley. "How'd she do? Give me a good score," we said. "I would give her, for 5 stars I would give her 4 and a half!," laughed Lyons.
"She didn't fall, so that's good," said her husband Scott Lyons, watching proudly from the side. "That's a bonus!"
It's estimated that 22,000 people skated there last year. All of the money raised helps Tampa Recreation.
"Alright, is this your first time on skates?," we asked a group of young ladies, who were about to hit the ice. "No!," they enthusiastically replied.
We knew we were in trouble challenging these young ladies to a race across the ice. But with the Lightning Girls cheering us on, we had a blast. Thunderbug even gave us a twirl!
Spills happen, but there's always a member of guest services skating around on the ice, to help you get back up on your feet.
"And when you fall, you don't like get a scrape on your knee, you just kinda glide," remarked one young lady.
There's also a lotta hand-holding, it's a great date night.
"You're gonna move your knees together, so move your, perfect like that!," said Lightning Girl Lizzie, who showed us some of her best moves. She's been skating 13 years. "Yours have a curved edge, so you have to skate side to side and figure skates, you can just skate like by kicking off like that, because they have to toe pick at the front."
Sounds easy right?
"It's like skating on a knife," she laughed. "That's basically what it is, a very sharp knife!"
The rink is open from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday nights and Friday nights until 10 p.m. On Saturdays, the rink is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 9 p.m.
Ten bucks gets you 90 minutes of ice time and that also covers your skate rental.
You can learn more by clicking www.TampasDowntownOnIce.com
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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