Get your skates on Dundalk, as it looks like the town’s first ever temporary ice rink is set to be located in the town centre during the festive season.
It is planned that the rink will open later this month and finish in early January.
The iconic multi-coloured water fountain will still be in operation during the festive season, as a ‘track rink’ has been proposed.
Essentially, this means that the rink will be constructed in a track around the fountain.
The Dundalk Democrat understands that the ambitious project will be officially launched later this week, once final negotiations with the Dundalk Town Council are completed.
The company that will operate the rink has vast experience in festive temporary rinks, having operated such facilities at several locations in recent years.
Speaking to the paper around the proposed project, a tight-lipped Dundalk Town Centre Commercial Manager Andrew Mawhinney said “The proposal for an ice rink is in advanced stages.
“It is hoped that the plan will be launched later this week.”
It is expected that the rink will attract volumes of visitors to Dundalk and the town centre, while local businesses are hoping it will help increase sales during the busiest period of the year.
“Anything that attracts people to the town and hopefully makes them spend money in the town, is good for Dundalk,” said Paddy Malone, Chairman of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.
“For a long time the Square was an eyesore, now it is bringing life back to the town.
“It is great to see the ice rink coming to the town just in time for the Christmas period, it will add some festive cheer to Dundalk. I hope the rink will be price sensitive to families.
“Because we once had a great facility in the Dundalk Ice Dome, a lot of people, kids and families all have ice skates at home that they will be digging out to use.”
Never before has a temporary Christmas ice rink been located in Dundalk, although natural pond hockey took place during the ‘big freeze’ in 2010.
Many other countries operate open-air Christmas rinks, including Hyde Park in the UK and Central Park in New York.
Let’s hope this rink will be a success and bring a much needed lift to the town.