Get ready to hit the “glice” this holiday season.
Virgin Islands Search and Rescue has brought back its artificial skating rink. But this year, the “Winter Wonderland” is staged at Nanny Cay, where families got their first taste of the holiday fun over the weekend.
The tradition began in 2020, when the nonprofit organisation built a rink at Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park to offer festive family activities while raising funds for its year-round marine rescue efforts.
While the inaugural fundraiser focused on financing a replacement vessel to serve Virgin Gorda, VISAR President Gerard Kraakman said this year funds will help with replacing the rescue vessel Spirit of Tortola.
The wintry atmosphere is made possible with a synthetic material made by Glice Eco Skating Rinks. Users can wear real ice skates and glide just as they would on real ice without ending up in a puddle amid the Caribbean heat.
Julie Schneider, manager of the Winter Wonderland, said the new venue is proving to be a good fit for the family-based event.
“The new space at Nanny Cay is magical, with the sand around the rink looking like snow,” she said.
The rink is open to adults from 5-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 5-9 p.m. on Sundays. It will also be open from 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 7; from 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15; and every weekday from 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 18-29 except Christmas Day.
The cost is $10 per skater.
Children younger than 7 are allowed to participate from 5-8 p.m., and they must be accompanied by a paying adult or paid VISAR volunteer.
Those interested in skating can either register for the 30-minute session at 441-RINK or join on a first-come-first-served basis, depending upon availability. Organisers advise participants to arrive 15 minutes early to take full advantage of their time.
Special events are planned as well, including free story-time hours celebrating Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The holiday events, which also offer crafts for kids, are being organised by BVI Book Tree and A Novel Bunch Book Club.
Other events include an on-glice performance by Firebird Performing Arts, art-based activities, a romantic “date night” for couples, and costume contests that will earn the winners free skating sessions for five people.
The festivities are slated to conclude on Dec. 30, with the rink being open for a final time from 5-10 p.m. Registration and payment is required for some events.
One other big draw this year is the variety of treats being offered, Ms. Schneider added.
Vendors plan to offer funnel cakes, fried Oreos, barbeque chicken and ribs, ice cream, lemonade, hot dogs, popcorn and more.