Island Ice is a hot event

Hundreds of people were surprised to find Oak Harbor’s Island Ice was not as chilling as expected.

It didn’t matter to skaters young and old that they weren’t on ice but a synthetic blend of acrylic plastic and glass called “glastic.”

Synda Lockwood, a former Ice Capades skater, said her kids were having fun just the same as if it they were gliding on frozen water.

“This was a really good idea,” she said of the ice rink. “It put a smile on my face.”

Trinity Krouse and friend Kaytee Lockwood, both dancers at Whidbey Island Dance Theater, found it hard to be graceful with skates on the slippery surface, but they agreed they were having a lot of fun. They were there to support each other on the ice — literally.

Krouse said she skated on ice before but admitted the acrylic was a little more slippery.

“I think it is awesome to have this in Oak Harbor,” Krouse said.

Synda Lockwood shared those sentiments.

“It’s so nice to have something like this on the island and not have to drive to Bellingham or Seattle,” she said.

Island Ice was made possible by the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and was sponsored by the business community, including title sponsor LangCo.

Christine Cribb, executive director of the chamber, said the turnout was better than expected. The chamber pre-sold more than 500 tickets prior to the start of the event but was still averaging 300 ticket sales per day afterward.

Cribb said the week-long event was intentionally planned to start after Christmas because it would give children and parents an outdoor activity to do while school was still out.

“We wanted to start it the day after Christmas and go right up to ringing in the New Year with the firework show at Windjammer Park,” Cribb said.

Cribb said some expressed concern about weather becoming an issue, but this was not the case as hardy Oak Harbor families braved the windstorm and cold.

Cribb said the event was huge success and all proceeds will go toward making the event happen next year.

Island Ice is located at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor. Today, Dec. 31, is the last day; it’s open from 2-9 p.m. Tickets are $7 for a two-hour session and includes skates. Parking is located on Beeksma Drive.

The chamber’s New Year’s Eve firework show is also at the park tonight.