(Dec. 27, 2019) The new synthetic ice rink at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill is now open for business.

ice rink

The new synthetic ice rink at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill is mobile and can be used year round.

The ice rink’s grand opening was on Dec. 20, with Elves on the Loose, an event for families to skate, watch the movie “Elf,” take pictures with Santa Claus, participate in the Great Elf Hunt and create arts and crafts.

Throughout the past week, recreation and parks has held several open skates that will continue today, Dec. 27, from 12-7 p.m. Two more will be held tomorrow and on Sunday at the same time.

Program Director Allen Swiger said that the idea sparked when staff were asked to do a free, public event around Christmas time.

“If we want to do something now, let’s think how this can impact the kids throughout the years and become a staple event,” Swiger said.

He added that it made sense to buy something for a long-term economic impact.

“We’re in the business of creating those memories for kids and long last experiences,” Swiger said.

Since the rink is portable, recreation and parks plans to give each town an opportunity to enjoy it. And, because the rink is made out of hard plastic, it can be used even during the summer months.

Although the next event has not yet been determined, Swiger hopes that the rink will move to Pocomoke City and Berlin next. Staff is also discussing the possibility of other organizations within the county renting the rink for various events.

The rink is 32 feet by 52 feet and would typically need a 40-foot by 60-foot space to accommodate it.

“We want to make sure it’s getting used and not in storage,” Swiger said.

Last month, the Worcester County Commissioners agreed to allow the Recreation and Parks Department to reallocate funds from special event savings to purchase the synthetic ice rink. The purchase cost was $69,000, but with donations, the amount was brought down to $49,000, according to Tom Perlozzo, director of Recreation and Parks. With advertisements and sponsors, that cost could be even lower.

“It creates some buzzworthy opportunities,” Perlozzo said to the commissioners. “It’ll resonate in the communities. It’ll advance our mission and we can build upon it, especially with additional partnerships.”

Now that the rink is in place, he thinks it will be a great experience for kids.

“We’re looking forward to mobilizing it all over the county,” Perlozzo said.

Open skate costs $2 per person with no additional cost for renting skates. For now, recreation and parks encourages everyone to rent the skates as personal skates might not work well with the rink’s plastic surface.

Children age 6 and under must have an adult on the ice rink with them. Youth under age 14 must have an adult in the building. 

“It’s about creating lasting memories,” Swiger said. “I have two kids that I’m going to bring down and it’s going to be their first experience skating, so its’ going to directly impact me as a father.”

For more information, contact Swiger at 410-632-2144 ext. 2520 or aswiger@co.worcester.md.us.  

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