By Victoria Starbuck, Staff Writer
Published in print Jan 21, 2015.
Parents clutch cups of hot cocoa while keeping an eye on the rambunctious children gliding along the ice. A group of friends links hands to uphold one another while a couple soars past with apparent ease. The blue strands of lights glow above the skaters’ heads and reflect on the mirror-like surface below. The sound of laughter rings through the air, and although it is chilly, the ice rink is filled with over thirty people.
The WFMY News 2 Winterfest, familiarly known as the Piedmont Winterfest, is an annual event that includes an ice-skating rink as well as an ice slide and “snow” play box. Located at The Railyard off of South Elm Street, the event provides a central location in Greensboro for aspiring skaters.
Hollie Jachimiak and Macy Patterson are thrilled by the outdoor rink. The pair dashes back and forth, challenging each other to numerous races around the ice.
“Let’s stay until ten,” Patterson exclaims with a grin that stretches from ear to ear. The duo giggles and skates off again, unwilling to surrender to their impending bedtimes.
The young girls are almost immune to the cold air, due to their fast pace on the ice. Yet it is evident that those who have not stepped into the rink are aware of the dropping temperatures as the sun sets. Fortunately for the spectators, the Snack Shack provides warmth in the form of food and beverage. And if the desire for a whole meal overwhelms those at the rink, the Spice Cantina and The Worx are located adjacent to the ice.
First opened in November 2010, the Piedmont Winterfest has become a tradition for downtown Greensboro. The temporary rink hosts a disco event on Fridays and Saturdays, from 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Special weeknights provide skaters with the opportunity to receive a discount. The two and a half month winter festival provides ice skates and an ice slider saucer for adults willing to pay the ten-dollar admission fee. Children are provided with a lower entrance fee and bystanders can enter the area for free.
The fifth season of the Piedmont Winterfest hosts a variety of events ranging from a lights festival to a skate clinic with the United States Figure Skating Championships. The WFMY News 2 Winterfest is open through the rest of January. Specific times and events can be found at http://www.piedmontwinterfest.com