Rooftop ice skating rink

Making the Miracle: Boo Lloyd, right, talks about a temporary ice skating rink with other Miracle on 7th Street planners on Friday atop the Sky Garden Parking Garage downtown between Ohio Street and Wabash Avenue. Skating there will start at 6 p.m. Monday.

The sixth annual Miracle on 7th Street will feature a new event this year — outdoor ice skating on the roof of the Sky Garden Parking Garage located between Wabash Avenue and Ohio Street.

For two weeks starting Monday, the public will have several opportunities to skate on the Miracle Ice Rink in the late afternoon and evening, with some exceptions for private parties by corporate sponsors.

“It’s going to be very, very cool for downtown, I think,” said Boo Lloyd, a Miracle organizer.

The first public session is from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, and the cost is $5 or three nonperishable food items; the fee or food donation will include the provision of ice skates.

The Miracle on 7th Street committee wanted to have an ice rink last year but “logistically, it just didn’t work,” said Terry Hogan, a member of the Miracle committee who has overseen the new Miracle Ice Rink component.

This year, it’s happening. “It’s getting a wonderful response,” Hogan said. “I hope everyone will come out and have a good time.”

Miracle organizers are renting the 100-foot by 35-foot ice rink, which will have a synthetic surface, from DIY. Each day, the ice rink will be powerwashed and squeegeed, and then a solution will be used to create the ice, Lloyd said.

The Miracle Ice Rink attraction will cost about $30,000 and is being made possible through 28 sponsors, Hogan said.

A skating schedule will be published in the Tribune-Star and it also will be posted on the Miracle on 7th Street Facebook page. The rink will be open Monday through Dec. 13, with public sessions nine of the 13 days.

Why an ice rink? 

“Probably because it’s a winter event and we’re the largest town in Indiana that doesn’t have an ice skating rink or event,” Hogan said. “There seems to be, based on our conversations with other cities, quite a demand for it.”

Skating will be out in the open, with music in the background and a decorated frame with poles for people to grab onto, if needed. The rink will have safety fencing around it. “It will be cold. It’s a wind tunnel up here and it’s winter. People will need to dress accordingly,” Hogan said.

The event will have two heated tents, one where people can get their skates and another that has chairs and tables for those who are waiting to skate or waiting for children to finish skating — or those who might need to warm up.

The ice rink will be staffed by volunteers.

On Friday, during Miracle on 7th Street, public skating hours will be 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Junior Achievement will have hot chocolate and baked goods available.

To get up to the ice rink, people can take the Ohio Street elevator on the west side of the parking garage.

Skate sessions will be for an hour, with about 60 to 70 skaters at one time, Hogan said. The skate sessions might be shorter during Miracle on 7th Street, when organizers expect heavy demand for the ice rink’s use.

The charities benefiting from the Miracle on 7th Street’s food donation include: Catholic Charities, 14th & Chestnut’ Grumbling Tummies program and St. Benedict’s Soup Kitchen.

The charities that provide uniformed food baskets for area families will receive equal monetary contributions. These charities are Salvation Army’s Christmas Food Basket program and the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund. In addition more than 20 nonprofit organizations are to be represented at the event, and they will raise funds for their individual programs.

Miracle on 7th Street keeps growing and growing, Lloyd said. The Miracle Ice Rink “is hopefully another way we can raise funds for our charities as well as food for the food bank. It’s going to be fantastic,” she said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

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