Wintertime brings freezing temperatures and snow, but it does not mean an end to indoor and outdoor events. In fact, winter events are expected.
We all bundle up and head out to enjoy some of winter’s cherished activities, like Winterfest.
If you’re a Winterfest organizer, you look forward to the hundreds of thousands of people that pass through every year.
Spice Up Your Community Winterfest With A PolyGlide Synthetic Ice Rink
And this year, like every other year, you’re probably thinking about a Winterfest Ice rink.
Ice rinks are often refrigerated or made naturally using lots of water and cold outdoor temperatures.
There’s also a third option; synthetic ice.
Going synthetic for your next Winterfest ice rink has some fantastic benefits and will make your decision to install an ice rink easier.
What is Winterfest?
Winterfest is a catch-all term for festivals, carnivals, and fairs held in the wintertime.
Winterfest is important for many fairs, parks, and carnivals as it allows them to operate and be profitable when attendance decreases significantly during winter.
Some Winterfests are open for a set period, while others open every weekend for the entire Holiday season.
Examples of Winterfests include:
- Winterfest At The Seattle Center
- Saint Paul Winter Carnival
- The Whitefish Winter Carnival
- Winterfest at various Cedar Fair Amusement Parks
There are often smaller carnivals and fairs held in cities, towns, and communities across the country.
Winterfest is not limited to the USA; you can find similar events in Canada, the UK, France, China, and Japan.
At a Winterfest, you can expect:
- Winter-appropriate rides and games
- Ice Sculpting
- Live Concerts and performances like The Nutcracker
- Community performances
- Food, games, and items on sale
- Child-friendly events
- Upholding town or state traditions
You can find out if there’s a Winterfest near you via social media or your local news.
Should you install a Winterfest Ice Rink?
Winterfest organizers juggle many different events and demands.
They have to decide what will stay and what will be left out.
One such decision is the installation of a Winterfest ice rink.
Ice skating is a sport or hobby enjoyed by millions.
People look forward to ice skating in the winter, but with limited rinks, thousands go through the Holidays without skating.
A Winterfest is an excellent opportunity to fill that gap, but a rink can take up a large chunk of the event’s budget in installation and maintenance.
Nevertheless, there are some great benefits for carnivals having an ice skating rink.
Benefits of a Winterfest Ice Rink
Winterfest events can go smoothly without an ice rink, so why install one?
- Additional revenue: Whenever someone goes to a Winterfest fair, they’re excited to try the rink, so it attracts new and experienced skaters alike. An ice rink is an additional income stream, as you can charge for skate rentals or rink use.
- Create an authentic winter experience: What’s winter without winter sports? Ice skating helps everyone have an immersive experience in the winter. It tops off an unforgettable Winterfest, encouraging participants to revisit. Ice skating adds to the Winterfest charm!
- Concerts and performances on the ice: Have you ever seen Disney on Ice? Ice skating opens other opportunities for on-ice concerts and performances that families will enjoy.
These reasons, and several more, are incentives for Winterfest organizers to install an ice rink.
In most cases, there is enough space to place a large rink for 30, 50, or more skaters to enjoy at any time.
What are your options?
The next dilemma is to choose the best rink for the event; refrigerated, natural, or synthetic:
The standard type of ice skating rink you see in the NHL, Olympics, and recreational rinks worldwide.
This rink uses a refrigerated system consisting of pipes, water, and coolant to freeze a thin layer of ice.
The system is connected to a condenser that keeps a steady temperature of the ice and prevents it from melting.
The ice is then resurfaced manually or with machines called Zambonis.
Before refrigerated systems were widely available, ice rinks were created using just water and the elements.
First, a tarp or water-resistant mat is placed on the desired surface.
Rink walls, often made of wood, are then placed around the area.
You’ll then add water (several thousand gallons depending on the size) when natural temperatures are below freezing.
After a few days, it’s resurfaced with warm water for a skateable finish.
We do not recommend natural rinks for commercial use due to the unpredictability of the weather, but they are effective if the rink can maintain a consistent temperature.
Synthetic ice rink
Synthetic ice is growing in popularity as an option for both home and commercial use.
The rink consists of polyethylene panels that are infused with a special agent allowing ice skate blades to glide across them.
Each tile comes with an edge that can be connected with the other to make a large skating surface of your choosing.
Synthetic ice rinks do come with some friction compared to natural ice.
However, advanced materials, like our infused Polyethylene, reduce that friction to 10% or less.
A synthetic ice rink is an excellent choice for Winterfest events and the preferred option for many of today’s best organizers.
Below are some reasons why you should go synthetic for Winterfest.
7 Reasons Why You Should go Synthetic
1. It’s easy to install
Time is of the essence during the planning and setup of a Winterfest.
A refrigerated or natural rink can be time-consuming to set up, often requiring multiple experts to complete the task.
With a synthetic ice rink, you can do it within two hours, using two able-bodied persons.
The installation makes deciding on a Winterfest ice rink easier.
2. Maintenance made easy
Refrigerated ice rinks need constant, expensive maintenance.
A technician is often on hand to deal with issues, incurring costs to the Winterfest team.
Synthetic ice rinks are easy to clean and maintain for maximum performance.
Synthetic ice rinks need a soft broom to remove the shavings that are natural with metal blades.
Once the shavings are gone, clean the rink with warm soapy water, then finish with a Slip Surface Conditioner.
This process can be handled by the event’s general maintenance team, saving time and money.
3. An indoor or outdoor Winterfest Ice Rink?
Synthetic ice rinks are versatile in that they can be installed indoors or outdoors.
Natural rinks are only possible outdoors, while refrigerated ice rinks still need cool temperatures, limiting outdoor use.
You can place a synthetic ice rink in a large outdoor space or indoors for small children, concerts, or other indoor activities.
4. More than one use
Ice rinks aren’t limited to ice skating, as carnivals tend to have multiple events on the ice.
You can designate an event or discipline each day of Winterfest, which will keep things fresh and increase the potential revenue of the rink.
5. An environmentally friendly option
Synthetic ice rinks are often made of recyclable materials and plastics.
However, it reduces the excess use of water and electricity, which is typical with refrigerated rinks.
Moreover, synthetic rinks last 5-10 years, making them an environmentally friendly option over time.
6. Save commercial utility costs.
Winterfest organizers have to manage the day-to-day costs of the event so it can be profitable.
Utility costs are a common concern, as carnival rides and bright lights can be resource intensive.
And a refrigerated rink increases expenses significantly.
Synthetic ice requires no power or water, saving hundreds or even thousands in utilities each Winterfest.
7. Store it for the next year!
Synthetic ice can be uninstalled as quickly as it was set up, making storage a breeze.
This convenience means that the ice only needs to be purchased once.
It can be stored and used for multiple events lasting several years.
You can even use the rink during the year for roller skating, sock skating, and other fun activities.
Winterfest planning starts several months in advance.
If you’re organizing the next Winterfest, there are several benefits to installing a skating rink.
In most cases, the benefits outweigh the costs and risks.
For instance, ice rinks can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly.
Additionally, kids and adults cite ice skating as the thing they look forward to the most over the holidays.
A synthetic ice rink provides all these benefits while saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a refrigerated option.
Today it’s easier than ever to install synthetic ice.
You can rent or buy standard commercial rink sizes for your next Winterfest, or you can measure and create a custom synthetic ice rink based on your needs.
Let’s help you put on the best Winterfest possible with the power of synthetic ice!