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The new synthetic ice rink at the corner of Main and Spring Streets in Buckhannon. (Katie Kuba / My Buckhannon file photo)

The Rink, a large synthetic ice rink in downtown Buckhannon, is now open for the holidays

By Brian Bergstrom and Katie Kuba

BUCKHANNON — Lace up your skates, Upshur County: The Rink is open for the holiday season.

The synthetic ice rink purchased by Foster’s Marketing Group this summer has returned to the corner of Main and Spring streets in downtown Buckhannon for the holidays. Owner Travis Foster said The Rink celebrated its Grand Opening in Buckhannon over the past weekend with public skating on both Saturday and Sunday.

From now through Christmas night, Sunday, Dec. 25, The Rink will be open for public skating during the following hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Pay $20 once — save $5 if you share, like or follow The Rink’s Facebook page — and have access to the rink all day, Foster said.

“You can get $5 off if you share, like and follow our Facebook page,” he said. “Right now, if you pay the fee, you get a wristband, and you can play all day. You can come back and forth all day long, and that includes skates and the ice hockey gear.”

Hot cocoa and coffee will be available for purchase.

“This is an opportunity for families and kids to get out and get some exercise and maybe even discover a new sport — not only the ice skating aspect of it but also the hockey,” Foster said. “That’s what the kids do; they love to come play hockey here.”

On days The Rink isn’t open for public skating, it’s available for private and corporate rentals.

“We have some openings in December for this rink so that you can book a birthday party, a corporate party or other special event, and the pricing for that includes the skates as well,” Foster said. “So, if you’re an owner of a company and want to do, for example, a Christmas party for your employees and their families, give us a call.”

On Monday, Dec. 26, The Rink will head to the Silver Creek Lodge area of Snowshoe Mountain Resort until March 15, 2024.

Foster has been working to bring The Rink to Buckhannon for several years now.

“It’s an idea that I’ve been talking about and working on for the last couple of years – an outdoor ice-skating rink for the community, and really, for the kids,” Foster said when he announced the rink this summer. “I wanted to bring in something different that would not only be available to people here but would also bring visitors into the community to spend money and be a part of the great festivities in town that we already have.”

The large synthetic ice rink, comprised of more than 150 specialty plastic panels that measure 32 square feet each as well as surrounding safety boards — made its winter debut in November at the West Virginia State Capitol building in Charleston for the sendoff of the national Christmas tree.

The synthetic surface has about 90 percent of the glide-ability of real ice, according to Marc Kohn, president and CEO of USA Synthetic Rinks.

Since The Rink was unveiled during this summer’s World Association of Marching Show Bands competition in Buckhannon, Foster has received interest in the portable rink from around the state. A sister rink is now open for skating at Stonewall Resort through mid-March 2024.

To rent The Rink for private events, including birthday parties, holiday parties, corporate events, etc., call 1-800-633-9266 ext. 103. The Rink can be transported around the Mountain State, too.

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