PORT ANGELES — It takes a village to build a village, Marc Abshire said at the ceremonial opening of the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village.
Abshire, Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director, wielded a pair of oversized scissors delivered by Santa Claus and cut the ribbon on the inaugural Christmas village and seasonal rink at 121 W. Front St., on Friday.
“It does take a village to build a village,” Abshire told a crowd of about 200 at the ceremony.
“There is a long, long list of people and organizations and businesses who contributed to make this happen.”
The 3,200-square-foot ice rink opened to the public Nov. 23 and will remain open daily through Jan. 6.
Tickets for skating, which include rentals and helmets, are $15 for adults. A $10 daylong ice skating pass is available to veterans, skaters 4 to 12 years old and seniors 62 and older.
Prior to the ceremony, Abshire said more than 2,000 tickets had been sold in the eight days since the rink opened.
That’s an average of about 250 tickets per day. An average of 200 daily visitors had been projected.
“Two thousand is a good number,” Abshire said as local dignitaries gathered for the ribbon cutting.
The festive ceremony featured Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, singles and doubles figure skating demonstrations, a hockey demonstration and turkey curling.
Tens of thousands of holiday lights twinkled above the covered rink and on the sheds between the rink and Station 51 Taphouse.
Officials said the chamber-led project was made possible by community donations and scores of volunteers.
“All of the community has been absolutely amazing,” said Edna Petersen, owner of Necessities and Temptations gift shop and the chamber board member who convinced Abshire that the Ice Village would be a success.
“Everybody has pitched it.”
Lindsay Fox, chamber events manager, thanked a laundry list of individuals, businesses and organizations that supported the Ice Village.
“Like Marc said, we couldn’t have done this without the help of our village,” Fox said.
“The generosity is amazing, and every day I come into my office and find out someone else had dropped some money and showed up with some supplies or offered to help. It’s just incredible.”
The City of Port Angeles approved a $35,000 allocation of lodging tax funds as a down payment to Ice-America of Harbor City, Calif., which provided the aluminum rink.
The chamber has said the project will cost $150,000.
Port Angeles Mayor Sissi Bruch, City Council members Mike French, Cherie Kidd and Jim Moran and City Manager Nathan West attended the ribbon cutting.
“It’s just been really, really great support from the city to make this happen,” Abshire said, noting that the village is on a city lot.
The tent that covers the rink was donated by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
Lakeside Industries of Port Angeles provided the generator that powers the chiller that keeps the ice cold and laid down the pad for the ice rink.
“We also got a big boost of support from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe,” Abshire said, recognizing tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles.
Andrew May, a horticulturalist and Peninsula Daily News gardening columnist, decorated the Ice Village.
Masco Petroleum provided diesel to power the generator.
Redd’s Sheds provided the wooden cabins for the village.
“There’s many more,” Abshire said.
“I really appreciate the camaraderie, the support from the community. This has been a great community effort.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].