Port Angeles, Wa. – November 16, 2020 – The Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce announced today that the planned opening of the Winter Ice Village in early December must be postponed until the middle of March, 2021. Exact dates for the outdoor ice skating rink will be determined over the next few weeks, but the target is currently mid-March through mid-April.
The Chamber has received significant support and information from the Clallam County Health and Human Services office in making decisions about when and how to open the Winter Ice Village this December, and had been planning to go ahead with the ice rink over the holidays. But the recent, significant increase in COVID-19 cases, both locally and across the region, has compelled the Chamber to make the decision to still provide an ice rink for the community, but to postpone it about 90 days or so, with hopes that the North Olympic community will be past the current wave of cases by the middle of March.
In its third year of operation, the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village has become very popular in the community and beyond, with visitors coming to downtown Port Angeles to enjoy outdoor, covered ice skating from as far away as the Seattle area and British Columbia. Last year, despite a tent collapse in the last week of operation, more than 18,000 skaters participated during the 8-week period it was open. More than 1,200 shifts were filled by volunteers from the community, and the prices for skating were kept as low as possible due to those volunteers, as well as generous donations from community members, and sponsorships from community-minded businesses.
“We’re very sorry that we’re sure to disappoint a lot of kids in our area who were looking forward to skating over the holidays this year – especially during this time when they really could really use an outlet,” said Chamber Executive Director, Marc Abshire. “We have been working hard with Dr. Unthank’s office to develop procedures for ‘Safe Skate 2020’ in order to keep participation as safe as possible. Our local community has been doing really great at helping to stop the spread of this virus, but the potential for an alarming rise in cases that has recently developed has caused us to decide that postponing this activity to a later date is the right thing to do. We’re happy to announce that kids of all ages can now look forward to skating over Spring Break.”