Pizarro: Kristi Yamaguchi to open Downtown Ice skating rink Friday

The ice is freezing, the hot cocoa stand is under construction and Downtown Ice — San Jose’s outdoor skating rink — is oh-so-close to being ready for its opening Friday night. And the weather forecast, which calls for a rainy Thursday, looks good for a whole bunch of opening weekend events.

Olympic champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi will be there Friday night to help open the rink at a 6 p.m. ceremony, followed by $5 skating for the public until midnight. This will be the eighth season Yamaguchi has been a title sponsor, but the San Jose Downtown Association has switched up her co-sponsor. Hawaiian Airlines is out and Toyota has signed up to take its place. Now, Hawaiian provided leis to VIPs at the opening ceremony and inspired the popular “Aloha Friday” discounts, so we’ll be watching to see what Toyota comes up with.

The opening weekend fun continues with the Ugly Sweater Skating Party on Saturday. Just show up in your unfashionable winter jumper and you can skate from noon to midnight for $10. And Sunday, the San Jose Sharks will have their slapshot booth at the Circle of Palms from 6 to 9 p.m. and lovable mascot S.J. Sharkie will hit the ice at 7:30 p.m.

The rink’s hours vary, but generally it’s open at 5 p.m. during the week and at noon on weekends until Dec. 18, when it’s open longer to accommodate families on winter break. A season pass, which includes VIP entry, is available for $75 per person — which is a deal if you plan to go at least five times before the rink closes Jan. 15.

Check www.downtownicesj.com for hours, prices and special events.

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Source:: The Mercury News

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