Full steam ahead for Saffron Walden ice rink Christmas attraction plans for Common

PUBLISHED: 13:36 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:36 17 October 2017

Saffron Walden Common. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Walden Common. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

SaffronPhoto 2016

There could be an open air, synthetic ice rink on Saffron Walden Common this Christmas.

The proposal has been agreed by the town council and awaits approval by Uttlesford District Council.

If it gets the go-ahead the rink will open on Saturday, December 2 the day after the town’s Christmas lights are switched on, and run until Friday, December 22.

A festive event called Wintasia would be set up by two businessmen in the town – Jason Coles, head of 3D events, which does the lighting for Saffron Walden Carnival, and Robert Casson of The Cambridge Tipi Company.

On the weekends of December 9-10 and 16-17, Santa’s Grotto will be open for children.

The rink will have added attractions including a large tent selling refreshments, including German sausages, hot chocolate and coffee and a fire pit where marshmallows can be toasted. A licensed bar will open at night.

Festive teepees will also include an Avalanche Apres Skate Bar, available for mid-week office parties with a Nordic twist, and a Prosecco table for work colleagues on a Friday night. Christmas packages will be available, including a three-course dinner, and disco as well as the skating.

The site will also be a photo booth with an Alpine back drop where people can have their pictures taken on a ski lift, holding a pair of skis, wearing a woolly hat and ski goggles.

Mr Coles said: “This is a green event. It will leave no carbon footprint, it won’t melt, people won’t get wet and they are far less likely to get hurt.

“Traditional ice rinks use thousands of litres of diesel to keep cold. This is a plastic sheet unaffected by the weather. The skating will be slower but there is less risk because real ice is unforgiving.”

Saffron Walden Town Council clerk Lisa Courtney said: “This is a first for the town. The rink will have a Santa’s Grotto but this will not be open for the light switch on because we have a Santa’s Grotto in the town that day and, of course, even Father Christmas cannot be in two places at once.”

Prices for the ice rink will be £8 adults, £7 children up to 16 and £6 for youngsters aged four to seven – prices include the hire of skates.

Mrs Courtney said the town council hoped the rink would be a success and become an annual event, adding: “We will see how well it goes.”

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