TAMPA — It will be in the 70s when folks lace up skates and cut figure 8s on the ice rink that opens downtown Thursday evening for the holiday season.
The official opening of Tampa's Downtown on Ice is 5:30 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be joined by representatives from the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first official skate on the 50-by-100-foot rink.
Then it's free skating for everyone until 7:30 p.m.
The rink will be open daily, except Thanksgiving, until Jan. 5. Skating is $10 for 90 minutes and includes skates. Hours are:
• Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.
• Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.
• Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
How does the outdoor rink stay frozen solid amid the pleasant fall weather?
A maze of tubing coils containing propylene glycol is nestled in sand under the rink. A 200-ton chiller circulates the liquid at about zero degrees to keep the ice frozen no matter the air temperatures outside.
Downtown on Ice is produced by the city of Tampa and the Friends of Tampa Recreation. Proceeds go toward Friends of Tampa Recreation summer scholarships for at-risk children.