TAMPA -- Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Bay Lightning cheerleaders are expected to hit the ice first this year when Tampa's downtown skating rink reopens Nov. 16.
The rink, at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, will be open through January 5, sponsors announced Monday.
"There's going to be popcorn and hot chocolate. It's great for the kids," said Kitty Lyons, of Friends of Tampa Recreation, one of the event's sponsors.
About 22,000 people visited the rink last year, down from 24,000 in 2010. Lyons hopes the numbers will rebound this year since Occupy protesters are no longer camping at the park. Cool weather also would help, Lyons said.
"It was a warm winter last year,'' she said. "It's hard to think of skating when it's hot out."
Ninety minutes of ice time will cost $10. The rink will be open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, when school is out, the rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.