Jendaya Fleming

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — People in Rock Hill celebrating the holidays may have noticed some changes to events held throughout November and December, with the intent of limiting the transmission of COVID-19.

People could still enjoy a number of activities for the holiday this year, such as the Founder’s Federal Credit Union Holiday Ice Rink or horse-drawn carriage rides to check out the decorations in downtown Rock Hill, with a few changes.

For example, visitors to the ice rink were limited to a hour-long session, which cost $10, as employees took precautions due to COVID-19.

“In between the sessions we have to get everyone off the ice and stop and sanitize everything and we have a max of how many people we allow on the rink,” said Madison Wright, an employee at the Founders Holiday Ice Rink.

“We do allow 50 people on the rink at a time, but once we do max out the 50 people, we have to either turn them down or have them sign up for the next hour session,” said Wright.

She said they also recommended people select their skate sizes to ensure the skates can be ready upon their arrival when purchasing tickets online.

“It completely changed. I come from a big family so we’re used to big gatherings, so just limiting to two households is kind of hard when we have family from out of state who want to see us, but we can’t see them,” said Ashley Lizano, who visited the ice rink.

“The turnout this year has been better than we expected with COVID. We maxed out with a couple of our sessions, but the days we don’t max out it has been slow,” said Madison Wright, an employee at the Holiday Ice Rink.

Precautions were also made to clean the horse drawn carriages after each ride, which cost $25 for up to six people for a 20-minute ride.

“We’re lucky we live in an area where we can do some things,” said Stacy Bryant, who took a horse-drawn carriage ride.

That was a sentiment shared by others, who said they were excited for a chance to celebrate the holidays, despite the changes.

“Listening to Christmas music and seeing people happy too, also helps get me in the Christmas spirit,” said Evan Crockford, an employee at the Founders Holiday Ice Rink.

“One of the things that I miss about the holidays is that we did not have our whole family down (to visit)…and I was a little sad, but it probably needed to happen,” said Crockford.