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City Crews Make Memories for Thousands Every Holiday Season 
Holidays on Ice

It’s a huge effort that happens every year. And it’s a labor of love. 

“The public lets us know they like it. We can see it in their faces, too,” says Jay Tinsley, City Assistant Facilities Manager.

Public Service employees are in the last days of building the ice rink for Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice on Market Square – work that began Nov.1 and will result in about 17,000 skaters of all ages who will make their way to the ice rink Nov. 29 through January 5, 2020.

Holidays on Ice

“Seeing it up is immediate gratification,” says Chad Weth, City Public Service Department Director. “It’s one of those City projects that we always get to see how much people enjoy it.”

Skaters get to enjoy the outdoor rink under the stars and festive lights amid music.

What does it take to create this joy? About 700 hours, 39 Public Service employees and meeting a deadline that doesn’t move. That would be the day after Thanksgiving. Every year.

The City has set up the ice rink for seven years, making the days leading up to Thanksgiving rigorous for the crew.

It starts with making way for the rink itself on Market Square. Crews literally create the space for the rink by removing benches and fencing. 

In addition to building the ice rink stages, crews set up the 40-by-100-foot constructed frame and spread about 200 tons of sand in the frame. That sand helps prevent the ice from melting and gets reused in other City projects.

This year City workers repaired much of that framing that surrounds the rink and rebuilt more than a third of the new wall that shields the gigantic chiller, which, well — keeps the rink frozen through the first week of January.

Depending on the temperatures, that chiller works harder some years than others. 

Holidays On Ice

It’s all part of bringing the magic of the holidays to Knoxville. 

“Some years, skating crowds are so big in early January that the ice rink has stayed open just a few more days,” says Tinsley, smiling. 

Learn more about this year’s schedule and admission cost for Holiday on Ice at KnoxvilleTN.gov/icerink. You can also check the Holidays on Ice Facebook page to stay updated at Facebook.com/KnoxvillesHolidaysonIce.

Posted by On 26 November, 2019 at 4:27 PM