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Ice-skating rink returns to Madonna Inn with 'Frozen' theme

Tim Riley saves son Bryce, 2, from a spill Friday at the Winter WonderSLO Ice Skating Rink at the Madonna Expo Center on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.
Tim Riley saves son Bryce, 2, from a spill Friday at the Winter WonderSLO Ice Skating Rink at the Madonna Expo Center on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The Winter WonderSLO Jiffy Lube Ice Skating Rink will once again take over the Alex Madonna Expo Center in December, and despite a lag in attendance last year, organizers are hoping a bigger budget and popular theme will help draw crowds.

Last year the ice skating rink drew 18,000 people to the San Luis Obispo entertainment venue, down slightly from the 20,000 they had seen the year before, event director Holly Holliday said.

Holliday attributed the decrease in attendance to the unseasonably warm winter last year — “nobody thinks of ice skating when it’s 85 degrees and you are at the beach,” she said — but was hopeful that this year would bring cooler weather and attract more participants.

Another factor Holliday hopes will draw in the crowds is the event’s theme, capitalizing on last year’s popular animated movie, “Frozen.”

“You’re going to feel like you are in the North, in those ice countries,” Holliday said, noting that the venue will be decorated with numerous flocked trees and blue and purple lighting. “We want you to feel like you are walking through the forest with Elsa.”

Holliday declined to disclose the cost for putting on the event, saying only that organizers are spending more this year to enhance the participants’ experience.

Holliday is also slightly enlarging the rink to 4,500 square feet and decreasing the number of people allowed to skate at one time from 125 to 100, to give skaters more room to enjoy themselves, she said; they’re also decreasing the number of vendors to five from eight so that there is more space for spectators.

The event will run from Dec. 19 to Jan. 4, and consist of one-hour sessions between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day. Season passes for the event went on sale Oct. 1; they’re available online at www.winterwonderslo.com for $100. General tickets for individual one-hour sessions will be available for purchase starting Nov. 28 and will cost $9 for ages 12 and under and $13 for ages 13 and up.

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