Holidice

A temporary synthetic ice skating rink will open in Citizens Park starting at the end of November.  

Aiken is looking to start a new holiday tradition by opening a temporary synthetic ice skating rink at the end of November in Citizens Park.

From Nov. 28 to Jan. 1, local company Holidice will open the ice skating rink along with several vending tents, entertainment and a photo station with Santa Claus.

There will also be a smaller ice skating rink for younger children.

Local business owners Mike Fanning, with All Star Tents and Events, and Norman Dunagan, with Dumpster Depot, have a three-year agreement with the city to host the rink at Citizens Park. 

The rink will be open seven days a week.

Fanning said the rink is not like a typical rink made from ice. 

The rink is made from synthetic ice and is constructed by interlocking panels, Fanning said. To avoid melting, the rink will be inside a tent. 

"It's a different experience," Fanning said. "It's synthetic ice. We're not trying to make slush. We're just going to try to create a new holiday tradition here in Aiken and improve on it each year."

Mayor Rick Osbon said he's excited about the idea and looks forward to the rink adding to Aiken's already established holiday traditions like Christmas in Hopelands. 

Osbon said Citizens Park serves as a parking area for the thousands who attend Christmas in Hopelands.

Visitors used to wait an average 45 minutes to an hour for a city bus to take them to Hopelands Gardens, Osbon said. 

Osbon hopes the addition of the rink will give visitors something exciting to do while waiting to be taken to Hopelands. 

"We certainly hope just like Christmas in Hopelands this becomes a tradition in its own right in the city of Aiken," Osbon said. 

For information on prices and opening hours, visit www.holidice.com

Matthew Enfinger is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @matt_enfinger