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December 22, 2013
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Downtown Association expands ice rink into a winter play land

The Grass Valley Downtown Association plans to expand a downtown ice rink into a full-on winter play land by adding more activities for the children.

According to a news release, the “ice” rink will be returning for the second year for four days from Jan. 17 to 20 on the back patio of the Holiday Inn Express-Gold Miners Inn on Bank Street in Grass Valley. The GVDA did a “trial year” of the event with the synthetic rink last January to draw people to downtown Grass Valley once the holiday season was over.

“The first year of the rink proved to be a success but also taught us that this was a children’s event, so we decided to expand on that concept. Now that we know what to expect, we can create something that works even better,” says Julia Jordan, GVDA executive director.

This winter play land will consist of a synthetic ice rink, a life-sized snow globe that you can step inside and take a photo and the world’s largest snowman/bounce house, “Bouncy,” the release states.

“This crowd-pleaser is not only an extraordinary sight but also a gigantic bounce house that entertains up to 30 kids at once,” the release continues. “This addition helps to emphasize that this is an event for the kids.”

The synthetic rink, which according to the release costs more than $10,000 to host, is approximately 40 feet by 40 feet and is made of plastic polymer that has a similar glide, look and feel to real ice.

“Last year, the kids loved the rink — and the weekend entertained the whole family,” Jordan said.

Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

SnowGlobe Live! is a life-sized snow globe that the entire family can step inside for a unique photo. The GVDA hopes to give away all photos as a free souvenir again this year.

“Food and adult beverages, a DJ and giveaways from event sponsors will keep the older generation entertained; and it is definitely entertainment enough watching kids learn to skate! And since the event is in the heart of downtown Grass Valley, you can enjoy everything the town has to offer all in walking distance,” Jordan said.

The GVDA intends to offer admission to the rink and a souvenir photo free of charge with a $3 fee for skate rental (but everyone will be able to find a coupon for free rentals in advertisements and from business sponsors).

“It took us a while for us to figure out how to reinvent the event without increasing our expenses, so we have not been able to provide the community with too much information until now,” said Tara Walters of Concept Adept Events & Marketing, the event’s coordinator. “We intend to keep the event free to the public, but the only way to do this is to raise enough money through sponsorships and community donations.”

Contact the Grass Valley Downtown Association for information at http:// or call 530-272-8315.

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The Union Updated Dec 22, 2013 11:43PM Published Dec 24, 2013 02:01PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.