Denison on Ice to return for a 6th season

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Organizers for Denison on Ice said the annual ice-skating event will continue many of the changed put in place in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the sixth year in a row, the city of Denison plans to bring family fun and holiday festivities to downtown the winter. The City Council approved An agreement with Crown Rinks to bring back Denison on Ice, the city's annual outdoor ice skating event, starting in November.

This year's rink will be the same size as last year's which was increased in size to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is also moving the the opening up to mid November this year to give skaters more time to enjoy the annual attraction.

"The event is super popular, and we've found with a larger rink that we are able to accommodate better service," Parks & Recreation Director Justin Eastwood said.

The event has proven to be a boon for Denison and brought in about 9,300 skaters from across the region last year.

During Monday night's City Council meeting, a $108,500 agreement for the rink rental, equipment and other expenses was passed. The initial cost of the rink increased this year from $101,500 to $124,000 due to the increased timespan for the event. 

However, the city was able to negotiate a 12.5 percent discount  by moving the delivery of the rink up a week. The price also increased due to the extended up of some of the equipment, including a chiller used on the ice itself.

Eastwood said the larger rink that was used during COVID-19 restrictions will be used again this year as a way to increase capacity. The new rink is about 40 percent larger than the one the city had used prior to 2020.

Organizers will also be bringing back a tent covering that was placed over the rink in 2020 as a way of extending hours and improving the ice-skating surface. Construction on the rink is expected to begin in mid October.