The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 30, 2012

Main Street Enid to raise money for synthetic ice skating in Enid

ENID, Okla. — If all goes to plan, Enid Lights Up the Plains will have an added attraction this year — ice skating.

Kelly Tompkins, Main Street Enid project manager, doesn’t know whether it will snow, but she plans to raise the money to rent a portable ice skating rink, which would be available for two weeks beginning Nov. 23, the night of Enid Lights Up the Plains.

“It’s a synthetic ice skating rink,” Tompkins said. “It’s easier and more cost-effective than ice; you don’t have to have ice and a machine to keep it frozen.”

The rink measures about 30 feet by 60 feet and will be set up on the Garfield County Court House lawn. Tompkins is offering various Enid organizations the opportunity to staff the rink and split the ticket cost with Main Street Enid, so the organizations and Main Street Enid both can make money. She will begin fundraising for that project this week by meeting with businesses she hopes will be large sponsors. There also will be a large public fundraising event, Christmas Karaoke, 7-10 p.m. Oct. 18 at Cherokee Strip Conference Center Plaza, weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, the event will move inside.

“It will be a fun way to raise money with people singing karaoke and paying to make other people sing, and people paying not to have to sing,” Tompkins said.

If the $35,000 goal is met, the rink will be set up for two weeks, Nov. 23 until Dec. 7. Other communities have tested the skating rink and have decided to purchase their own, but Enid’s will be rental-only to test it out, she said. The funds would provide not only the rink, but all of the ice skates and possibly a sub-floor underneath the skating rink.

Tompkins said the synthetic ice is laid in panels and sprayed with silicone spray, and is more economical than real ice, which would require much more money. The artificial skating rink is not dependent on the weather, but can be used in any type of weather. There are a number of manufacturers that rent the ice skating rinks. Ice hockey teams use the rinks to practice on, she said.

“They are being used more and more. You can do anything on them you can do on real ice skates,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins and her husband, Ty, have taken their daughter to skate on an artificial rink in Oklahoma City many times and always wished they had one in Enid, she said.

If Tompkins can raise $50,000, there will be new lights accompanying Enid Lights Up the Plains, and the fireworks will be paid for; $60,000 will enable the installation of a permanent sound system around the Square that will play Christmas music during the season, plus do all of the other things she has in mind.

Tompkins said any local organization would be welcome to sell hot chocolate or other Christmas snacks during the period. Tickets would be purchased to skate, which would include the price of the skate rental. All common sizes would be available. Ticket prices have not yet been determined, she said.

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