Empire ‘Skate’ Plaza to open on Friday


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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ice skating is returning to the Empire Skate Plaza. Last year it was closed due to COVID-19. Officials from the State Office of General Services are gearing up to open the rink this Friday.

The OGS rink team has been sharpening and stocking hundreds of skates, brushing off the Zamboni, pruning the Holiday tree, and installing the dasher boards. “This is just a really great opening for the State of New York,” said Jeanette Moy, Acting Commissioner of NYS OGS.

Crews have been prepping the rink since September, and right now they’re down to the final touches. “We’ve been preparing for a while, what you’re seeing is just one layer short of the perfect ice so we can actually get our sponsorship labels out, everything is all set and done — but it is gorgeous it’s going to be in perfect condition by the time we open,” said Moy.

Ice skaters can expect the same experience on the ice from previous years, and those off the ice can enjoy a hot meal inside the cafe. The plaza is following the CDC covid guidelines, masks need to be worn inside the cafe and rental room, and are encouraged to be worn on the ice.

The Empire State Plaza Ice Rink Opening Day is Friday, December 3, at noon to 8 p.m., weather permitting, with DJ T.G.I.F performing from 6 to 8 p.m. First Hannaford Free Skate Rental Saturday of the season, December 4.

The New York State Holiday Tree Lighting presented by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York will be Sunday, December 5, from noon to 8 p.m. Stewart`s Shop will offer samples of eggnog and holiday-flavored coffee while supplies last. Refreshments will also be available for purchase at B-Rad`s Express and Cornerstone at the Plaza. The official tree lighting and fireworks ceremony, hosted by the NEWS 10 ABC Morning Team, will start at 5:15 p.m. Santa will be there too!

Ice Rink Information: Hours:  Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting. Closed 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and both 2  3 p.m. and 5  6 p.m. on weekends for maintenance. The rink will be open on three Mondays: December 27, January 17, and  February 21.

Cost to skate: FreeSkate Rentals: $4 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under. A photo ID is required to rent skates. Every Saturday is Hannaford Free Skate Rental Saturday. Amenities: Lockers, skate rentals, and refreshments are available in the glass pavilion adjacent to the rink. Children’s helmets and ice walkers/trainers for beginning skaters are also available free of charge.

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