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DavidsonNews.net: No Ice Skating In Davidson, But There Is Plastic Skating

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Skating rink at south main square

The temporary rink is being set up at South Main Square, near Campania Cafe. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net) You've probably never seen a skating rink like the one at South Main Square for Christmas in Davidson this week. It arrived on a truck Thursday, measures 28 feet wide by 64 feet long, and is surrounded by railings. Like any skating rink, if you tried to walk on it, you'd probably wind up on your back side. But this rink has a high-tech secret. It's not ice - not the H20 kind anyway. It's plastic "synthetic ice" that those in regular ice skates should find just as slippery as the real thing, said Mike Postlewait, who was installing the surface Thursday morning. The surface is made of interlocking high-tech plastic panels said to be as slippery as real ice. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net The high-tech "ice" at South Main Square is a plastic sheet made of dozens of slippery plastic panels interlocked on top of a wooden base. "It fits together like a puzzle," Mr. Postlewait explained. The skating rink is a new feature of Christmas in Davidson this year, and will be open extended hours throughout the festival, from Thursday to Saturday. And it doesn't matter what the weather's like - the rink will be ready for skaters' swooshing. The rink will have skates for rent, a blower sending artificial snow onto the "ice," flood lights and holiday music. Davidson is paying All Year Sports Galaxy LLC of Wheeling, W.Va., $11,000 for the temporary skating rink. The company, founded by a former Russian professional hockey player, says the plastic is made from "specially engineered polymers that permit a skate blade to glide as smoothly as on real ice." Oils embedded in the surface help make for smooth skating, Mr. Postlewaite said. Workers for the Wheeling, W.Va., rental company brought the rink on a truck Thursday and set it up. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net) Last year, South Main Square hosted a second entertainment stage (after the main stage on the Village Green). This year, festival organizers decided to ditch the second stage and try something new in the parking lot near Fuel Pizza, Restaurant X and Campania Cafe. The rink - and several small-town contests on the main stage - are part of an effort to make sure Christmas in Davidson reflect's the town's "core values instead of the more commercial type things," said Kim Fleming, Davidson's downtown manager. Skating is "an outdoor event" - something that all can take part in. "It's active," Ms. Fleming said. The rink's $11,000 cost will come from festival sponsorships and skating fees. Ms. Fleming said the festival also is saving money by deleting other activities, such as the stage at South Main Square and a kiddie train. WANT TO GO? The skating rink at South Main Square, off South Main Street, will be open extended hours during the festival: Thursday and Friday, 3-9 p.m., and Saturday, 1-9 p.m. For $7, you can rent a pair of skates and twirl on the rink for 20 minutes. Details on the Christmas in Davidson website. The rink uses regular skates, which are available for rent. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)