No excuse not to try ice

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Winter Festival bosses say there will be no excuse for not taking to the ice at the rink on Village Green this year. 

They have abandoned the idea of scheduled sessions – which means there’s space for up to 10,000 skaters to have a go during the 10 days of the festival. 

Festival director Simon Green says: “We just want people to come on up and be able to skate when it is convenient for them. If the ice is full or we are scraping it off they may have to wait a little while, but hopefully not too long.” 

Skaters will be able to turn up anytime between 10am-10pm. 

The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink will also feature displays by Queenstown’s Southern Stampede ice hockey team and Queenstown Figure Skating Club. 

And theming of the rink from the Ice Age 4 movie will be introduced after its New Zealand premiere at Reading Cinemas on The Mall on June 23. 

Construction of the rink begins late next week – more than 20,000 litres of water will be frozen over three days to create the 15sq m facility, above Horne Creek. 

Green says: “I’ve been getting hounded all year by locals wanting to make sure we were delivering the rink again. 

They’ve been stopping me in the street. So we hope people get out and support it.” 

Senior international NZ figure skaters Morgan Templeton and Chris Boyd will perform displays on the final weekend. 

Queenstown skaters, led by coach Deanna Pielak-Jones, will also give demonstrations. The first 80 skaters with an American Express card get to skate for free each day. 

Queenstown schoolchildren have also been preparing for the Ice Age 4 premiere by learning the ‘Sid Shuffle’ dance. 

The winning team of 10 not only gets to attend the premiere, they will do the dance on the blue carpet laid from the bottom of The Mall to the cinema. 

Prices range from $10 for kids under five to $25 for adults and $50 for a family pass.