Add ice skating to the offerings at Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater in Albertville, park General Manager Patrick O'Brien said.
The park will install a 100-foot by 40-foot real ice skating rink in October, O'Brien said, targeting an opening date of Nov. 18. He said the rink will be open until the second week in January. The rink will have a 375-skater capacity, he said.
O'Brien said it's going to be the largest outdoor ice skating rink in north Alabama. He said it's all part of a plan to keep activities for the public throughout the year. The amphitheater has hosted outdoor concerts throughout the year and has been busy through the summer with its water park and other sports events.
The goal for the park is to be a benefit to the community's health and economy, O'Brien said. In addition to serving the local community, he said the hope is that the park's activities and events can attract people from the surrounding area.
Winter months can sometimes be slow for retailers and restaurants, O'Brien said. With events and activities to bring people to the park, they can also bring people out to shop and dine.
O'Brien said other cities offer holiday activities, and people from the Sand Mountain area go to Huntsville and Birmingham for holiday fun.
"We want to keep those people here," he said, and make the Albertville facility a destination for people from other areas.
The park is going to offer public skating lessons, birthday parties, corporate/private parties, church functions, school field trips, skate show events and nightly holiday light shows. There will be Santa Claus appearances, movies and more, according to park managers.
O'Brien said the park will feature a 30-foot Christmas tree.
Public skate sessions will cost $12 per person with skate rentals and $6 per person without stake rental. Skate aids will be available to rent also, for $5. There will be concessions, bars, and seating areas for people who don't want to skate, so they can watch, O'Brien said.
O'Brien said the park will offer updated information as the opening of the ice rink approaches through a Facebook page, Sand Mountain Skate, and on the park's website.