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Wildcat Events Board brings ice skating event to UA Mall

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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Photo Courtesy of Wildcats Event Board Facebook Page.

Students will get the chance to ice skate into finals week on the UA Mall Wednesday evening as part of an annual holiday-themed event.

Hosted by the Wildcat Events Board, WinterFest will include an ice skating rink, snow flurries, an opportunity to decorate a gingerbread house and a performance by Amplified Acapella, the newest co-ed a cappella group on campus, among other winter-related activities.

“You just feel like you’re in a little winter wonderland,” said Kayla Fiore, a general studies sophomore and coordinator of the event. “It really makes you get into the holiday spirit.”

Wednesday also marks dead day eve, offering students a chance to de-stress before finals begin next week.

“It’s kind of stressful with finals and everything going on around school, especially right now,” Fiore said. “[The event is] just to have like one last fun thing to do before we all go back home and get us in the holiday spirit before we go back and celebrate with our families.”

The ice skating rink is made of synthetic ice and is provided by BH Skating Parks International. To install the rink, synthetic ice sheets made of a non-toxic, recyclable polymer compound are hammered together like giant puzzle pieces, according to the company’s website.

A non-toxic glide enhancer is sprayed onto the surface of the ice to reduce the friction created by a skater’s blades. Unlike a typical ice skating rink, the rink is not refrigerated. It is also 10 to 15 percent slower than a normal rink, and feels more like skating on a frozen pond than an actual rink.

The Wildcat Events Board will provide free skates for students. While students wait for their turn on the ice, they can participate in a range of activities, including a snowman-making contest using marshmallows, a basketball free-throw machine, hot cocoa and s’mores and decorating gingerbread houses.

Pauline Lam, a pre-business sophomore and an arts director for the Wildcat Events Board is in charge of the gingerbread house activities. The activity was a hit for students last year, prompting its return this year, she said, adding the fact that the event is on campus and is free gives students easy access to join the festivities.

“They don’t have to drive far and pay lots of money to do something fun,” Lam said.

When the event began last year, around 400 students attended, a number Fiore said she hopes doubles this year.

Amplified Acapella will perform holiday songs such as “Let It Snow” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Sean McCann, a music sophomore and director of Amplified Acapella, said it was exciting to take the time to learn some holiday songs and do something different for the group.

It’s also important to have events such as WinterFest on dead day eve because although it’s so close to finals week, students shouldn’t have to be constantly stressed, McCann said.

“I think WinterFest is a very good break to hang out with friends,” McCann said, “watch a performance, have a couple things to do before you really have to buckle down on Thursday and get all this studying out of the way.”

- Follow Alison Dorf @AlisonRaeDorf


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