Metro-East News

Gateway Arch to feature ice rink as part of ‘Winterfest’ activities

Ice skating enthusiasts will have the chance to skate next to the Gateway Arch as part of “Winterfest at the Arch” festivities. The St. Louis Blues and CityArchRiver Foundation on Tuesday announced an ice rink will be set up at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The festivities will start on Dec. 27 with the opening of the rink in Luther Ely Smith Square, between the Arch and the Old Courthouse. The rink will remain open until Jan. 8 with many activities scheduled during that time.

“We’re excited to partner with CityArchRiver Foundation to bring hockey and skating under St. Louis’ defining symbol to the world.” said Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of business operations for the St. Louis Blues. “This is a great opportunity for us to extend the energy of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic to the Arch and the city.”

The Blues will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL’s Winter Classic on Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium.

“This is an amazing partnership with the Blues to make the Arch grounds buzz this winter,” said Eric Moraczewski, executive director of CityArchRiver Foundation. “We’re thankful to our partners at the National Park Service for the opportunity to bring this unique experience to visitors and residents of the St. Louis region.”

Winterfest will include an opening night celebration, Try Hockey for Free clinics, a street hockey tournament hosted by the Blues, whiskey tasting, a New Year’s Eve family friendly celebration and daily skating times. Skates will be available for rent on-site. The skating rink will be made of synthetic ice, a unique material that replicates the feeling of skating on real ice. Visitors can use real skates on the 46 foot by 92 foot rink.

The rink’s location in the newly renovated Luther Ely Smith Square highlights a completed portion of the $380 million CityArchRiver project, which is renovating the Arch grounds and surroundings. Many portions of the project are complete with the full project scheduled to be finished in late 2017.

“Due to the ongoing construction this winter at the Arch we have a great one-time opportunity to host a skating rink in the park,” said Mike Ward, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “We hope that everyone enjoys this fun and healthy outdoor activity.”

For more information about Winterfest at the Arch, visit www.archwinterfest.com.

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