For four weekends, beginning Feb. 14, part of Batesville’s Village Green will house a synthetic ice skating rink where kids of all ages can put on skates and take a spin.
The celebration, organized by Batesville Main Street, begins with Winter Festival Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16, when a variety of activities will take place.
“We upgraded to a higher quality rink this year, which comes with a minimum rental period of 30 days,” reveals Tina Longstreth, Batesville Main Street executive director. “We are thrilled to be able to extend this family-friendly outdoor activity for several weeks. In our recent community questionnaire, a majority of respondents cited the desire for more family-friendly activities; we feel this is a great fit at a time of year when families are looking for things to do.”
Due to the extended number of weeks the rink will be offered this year, a nominal fee of $5 for skate rentals will be charged to help defray costs, she adds.
There will be a cherry pit spitting contest, face painting, ice sculpture demonstration and food vendors serving hot dogs, soups, hot cocoa, chips and candy (please see box). “New this year will be the mobile axe throwing unit!”
“Having a rink downtown is a special treat for Batesville families this year, thanks to the generosity of many sponsors, and especially our Frozen Sponsors ($10,000-plus donations), the John A. Hillenbrand and William A. and Martha H. Hillenbrand foundations, who have been invaluable supporters of Batesville Main Street’s mission to revitalize downtown and get feet on the street. The city of Batesville has also been a tremendous help with the event ... contributing $5,000 through the Belterra Fund, along with a great deal of logistic support for the event.”
“In 2019, more than 700 people visited our downtown festival to enjoy ice skating and community camaraderie. We are working to create an even better event this year,” Longstreth emphasizes. “We hope the atmosphere will be festive! We’re hoping to see our downtown come alive this month with families coming together for a fun activity.
“I am looking forward to seeing a vibrant square filled with people. February can be such a long and dreary month when people tend to stay home. This will be a wonderful way for people to get out of the house, gather and do something healthy.”
In addition, the rink will be open weekends Feb. 21-March 8.
The director reports, “Main Street will be in need of volunteers to set up the rink Feb. 11 and is also needing helpers for the weekend of the Winter Festival .... This is an easy way to get involved with Batesville Main Street for just a few hours, and the best part is getting to meet a lot of fun people who love our community.” To volunteer, please visit https://bit.ly/39fNTXL.
“We are also seeking nonprofits to ‘adopt’ the rink for a day and earn money for their organizations by staffing the rink. The dates of Friday, Feb. 21; Friday, March 6; Saturday, March 7; and Sunday, March 8, are still available.” Persons can email Longstreth at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
She adds, “Most towns our size don’t have the opportunity to have something like this. A lot of generous sponsors and volunteers have made this possible for the community, for which we are very grateful. It is our hope that as people come down to use the rink, they have a great time and also patronize our downtown businesses and restaurants. The winter months can be a slow time for our local small businesses, so we want to encourage folks to shop local all year.”