Winterfest returning to downtown Raleigh

Posted October 6, 2010 4:16 p.m. EDT

— After the inaugural Winterfest attracted nearly 20,000 ice skaters to downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza, city officials said Thursday that the event would return this year with a larger outdoor ice rink.

The AT&T Raleigh Winterfest will open on Dec. 4, when Mayor Charles Meeker lights a Christmas tree, local choirs, bands and dance companies perform, artisans show off their wares and Santa pays a visit to downtown Raleigh.

The event will conclude on Jan. 30, 2011, after the city hosts crowds for the NHL All-Star Game which will be played at the RBC Center.

“We are thrilled AT&T Raleigh Winterfest was so well-received and will continue to attract residents and visitors from across the Triangle to downtown Raleigh,” Meeker said in a statement. “The opportunity to ice skate under the beautiful Raleigh skyline is a special holiday experience that adds to our vibrant downtown.”

Through a three-year deal with Polar Ice House, Winterfest will feature a larger, 45- by 90-foot rink this year, city officials said.

Ice rink admission will be $8, including skate rental, during regular hours. The rink will be open six days a week and closed on Mondays for private parties.