Shaniah Garrick

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The annual holiday ice skating rink has returned to Old Town Rock Hill with a new feature that will allow skaters to use the ice regardless of the weather.

The rink, sponsored by Founders, opened Nov. 16 with a new hard-top tent of more than 5,000 square feet that covers the ice.

Evan Goetz, marketing coordinator for the city of Rock Hill, told WBTV-TV it rained on 13 of the 17 weekends the rink was open last year, which prompted the addition.

Morgan Linder, a junior at Winthrop University who works as a manager at the rink, said she has worked at the ice rink since her sophomore year of high school.

“It makes it feel a lot like the holidays for me just because (of) the music and the ice rink,” she said. “I really learned a lot about some of the people that come back every single year and I really enjoy that.”

For 7-year-old Leah Greene, the holiday rink provides the opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy the cooler weather.

“It’s fine if I go in cold temperatures, like 31 degrees, I can handle it,” said Greene, which drew a laugh from her mother.

The rink also includes a private vendor that serves concessions for visitors who want a dessert, snack or drink.

“We are contracted out to concession for the ice rink. This our third year now for the ice rink. Our contract is whenever they’re open we’re open,” said Matthew Shealy, director of operations for Roman’s All-Star Cafe.

“Our concessions down here (at the rink) are mainly just snacks, hot drinks, regular drinks and this year we added soup and chili to the mix. On the bigger nights we will bring the trailers down here and have the full menu of Philly (sandwiches), hoagies and all that good stuff.”

Admission to the rink is $10, which includes skate rental and up to 2 hours on the ice. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a 20 percent discount and tickets are buy one get one free on Wednesdays.

The Founders Holiday Ice Rink is located on Saluda Street in downtown Rock Hill, across from Fountain Park, and it will remain open until Jan. 20.