Smooth skating ahead for mall visitors at pop-up ice rink

Maui Mall will open outdoor ‘Ice Skating in Paradise’ after Thanksgiving Day

An outdoor ice skating rink, like the one shown, will be set up at the Maui Mall from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17. Chill Entertainment photo

An outdoor ice skating rink, like the one shown, will be set up at the Maui Mall from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17. Chill Entertainment photo

Just in time for the holiday season, an outdoor ice skating rink will open the day after Thanksgiving at the Maui Mall.

And a dozen nonprofit organizations will reap proceeds from “Ice Skating in Paradise,” which will run from 3 to 9 p.m. Nov. 24 to Dec. 17.

“We wanted to make sure we gave the community something for the holidays,” said Louise Lumague, spokeswoman for the Kahului mall. “It’s going to be really fun. It’s a new event for the island. It will be exciting.”

Chill Entertainment, based in Arizona, will build the 1,200-square-foot “pop-up” rink in the mall’s center court, where the water fountain is now.

With synthetic ice, the rink won’t be as cold and skaters won’t glide as smoothly as they might at a regular ice rink, Lumague said.

“It’s just a little bit more friction,” she said. “You don’t get as much slip as you otherwise would on real ice, which would probably be good for people on Maui who don’t know how to ice skate. Then they’re not consistently falling.”

The Maui Mall and Bank of Hawaii are sponsoring “Ice Skating in Paradise,” with 12 nonprofit organizations providing the volunteers to staff the skating rink.

The $5 cash-only admission cost includes skate rental and skating for a 25-minute period. Admission is free for children age 5 and younger.

Clean socks are required.

“We tried to make it as affordable as we can,” Lumague said.

Registration will begin at 2:30 p.m. each day, with wristbands handed out for specific 25-minute periods. The rink can accommodate 20 to 25 people at a time, Lumague estimated.

An ice skating instructor will be on hand to give free introductory lessons.

Each of the 12 nonprofits is assigned a two-day period to provide volunteers for the rink. Each organization will receive the proceeds from its days.

At the Maui Academy of Performing Arts in Wailuku, work is underway to recruit volunteers, including families of students and board members, for Dec. 16 and 17, when the organization will staff the rink.”

We already have some people that jumped on board,” said Leighanna Locke, front desk administrator who is helping organize volunteers. “I anticipate that there will be plenty of people that want to help. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

She compared the Maui Mall ice skating event to last year’s snow event at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.

“People from all over the island were coming to experience that,” Locke said. “We anticipate that this is going to be really similar. It’s this new, fun thing.”

While staffing the rink on the last day it will be open, the nonprofit will have its dancers performing on stage, as well as information on how to sign up for its more than 100 dance and drama classes a week.

“There will be holiday music playing and a fun ice skating activity for people to do,” Locke said. “It should be a ton of fun.

“Hopefully, we will reach new families that don’t know about us, and we can raise some money in the process.”

She said money raised will go to help fund the organization’s scholarship program.

The other nonprofit organizations scheduled to provide volunteers for the rink are Adaptations Dance Theater, Nov. 24 to 25; Boy Scouts of America — Maui County Council, Nov. 26 to 27; Maui United Soccer Club, Nov. 28 to 29; Maui Family Support Services, Nov. 30 to Dec. 1; Alexander Academy of Performing Arts, Dec. 2 to 3; Na Le Kako’o o Maui, Dec. 4 to 5; Imua Family Services, Dec. 6 to 7; Maui Food Bank, Dec. 8 to 9; Hospice Maui, Dec. 10 to 11; Waiside Softball, Dec. 12 to 13; and Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, Dec. 14 to 15.

By gathering volunteers and encouraging supporters to turn out on their days, the nonprofits will be helping promote the ice skating event, Lumague said.

She said Blue Zones Project volunteers also will be at the event to educate youth and families about ways to make healthier choices. Lumague said the ice skating event incorporates two of the Blue Zone Project goals — activity and family togetherness.

“I hope it’s busy,” Lumague said. “We’re really happy with the nonprofits that we have supporting us, and we want to make sure we support them as well.”

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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