Newport Waterfront Events invites one and all to help brighten downtown Newport with seasonal cheer at the Opening of the Newport Skating Center Presented by ALEX AND ANI and 35TH Annual Tree Lighting, to take place next Friday, December 9th at 5:00 p.m. at the Newport Yachting Center.

The illumination of the 30-foot evergreen tree, donated this year by The Duffy Family of Middletown and transported by “Mr. Bill” Medeiros, along with a visit by Santa & The Elves, carolers, festive treats from Stop & Shop, the debut of the rink’s new food truck, “A Fork in the Road” by Blackstone Caterers and skating performances by the Island Skating Academy, mark the traditional kick off to Newport’s holiday and skating season. Entry to the event, sponsored by ALEX AND ANI, Stop & Shop and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and hosted by LITE Rock 105’s Heather and Steve, is free.  The rink’s first public skate of the season will immediately follow the event until 9:00 p.m., depending on weather and ice conditions, with admission $7 for adults/teens and $5 for kids 12 and under.  An Adult Skate is scheduled from 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

“Once again a total community effort, including our name sponsor ALEX AND ANI, Peregrine Group for providing the space, Newport Harbor Corporation for donating the equipment and all the sponsors, partners and individual donors, made the opening of the rink and the official kick-off to the city’s holiday season a reality,” said Michele Maker Palmieri, President and CEO of Waterfront Productions, the parent company of Newport Waterfront Events.  “We hope everyone can come enjoy our Winter Wonderland in the heart of downtown, take a spin on the ice, experience the lighting of the tree and catch the holiday spirit in the process!”  Palmieri added that the Newport Skating Center’s kick-off weekend coincides with the Newport Holiday Stroll and skaters can enjoy a $1 off rink admission and a complimentary hot cocoa with a receipt from a participating Stroll merchant.  Also, guests who purchase one or more items from the “A Fork in the Road” by Blackstone Caterers food truck during the Newport Holiday Stroll will receive a festive sugar cookie to decorate complete with frosting and fun toppings.

Santa Clause is looking forward to meeting everyone who comes to celebrate, as well as listen to what the children are hoping they see under their own tree. Holiday carols sung by Newport’s Pell Elementary School Choir along with the spinning of popular holiday and skating tunes by DJ Nook will add to the festive mood.

Additional upcoming events at the Newport Skating Center include The MLKCC Toy Drive from December 9th through December 12th, 2016.  Help the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center fill Santa’s Workshop with gifts for close to 400 kids up to age 16 this holiday season and receive a Buy One/Get One Free skating admission pass to be used anytime during the month of January.  Skate With Santa on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. including a special visit with the big man in the red suit after he skates!  ALEX AND ANI #CARRYLIGHT Nights on Fridays where guests can join the global movement to ignite the light in others and create one light indivisible through a video campaign. Please visit www.AlexAndAni.com/Carry-Light for more information.  Also, the Learn to Skate Program directed by professional skater, Meghan Lamarre, is once again being offered by the Island Skating Academy for beginner and advanced students.  Check out www.islandskatingacademy.com to learn more about the programs and skate camp.  Other fundraising drives will be announced with our community partners Stop & Shop and BankRI.

The Newport Skating Center Presented by ALEX AND ANI, located at the Newport Yachting Center at 4 Commercial Wharf, first opened in 2000 and features a 9,000 square foot skating surface large enough to accommodate up to 100 skaters at a time.  Skate rentals, hot beverages, comfort foods, lighting for night skating, regular admission discounts, FREE parking and viewing spaces for the public are also featured at the rink.

The Newport Skating Center is open seven days a week, weather permitting, with extended hours during holidays and school vacations.  Please visit www.newportskatingcenter.com for the updated season schedule.

General three-hour skate admission passes are just $7 for adults/teens and $5 for seniors and children between 3-12 years of age.  Children under 3 are free with an adult.  Passes for Friday night’s Adult Only Skate hours are $5 each. Nightly Specials are offered as well and can be found on www.newportskatingcenter.com.  Skate rentals are available on site from $3 -$5, as is skate sharpening for $7.  Season passes and Frequent Skater Savings Cards are also available for stocking stuffers and can be purchased at the rink.  For those interested in hosting a party on the ice, the Newport Skating Center also offers group discounts and private rentals.

This year’s partners/sponsors of the Newport Skating Center presented by ALEX AND ANI include: Stop & Shop, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Viti Auto Group, BankRI, Amica Insurance, Newport Hospital, Newport Shipyard, Blackstone Caterers, “A Fork In The Road” Food Truck, BankNewport, Rob Levine and Associates, Think Thin, Bannisters Wharf/Clarke Cookehouse, JAM Construction, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Admiral Fitzroy Inn, Island Skating Academy, What’s Up Newp, Discover Newport, Peregrine Group/Scott’s Wharf and Newport Harbor Corporation/Newport Restaurant Group.

Waterfront Productions LLC, headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, specializes in event management/production and venue operation and is the parent company of Newport Waterfront Events and Rhode Island Waterfront Events.  The events Waterfront Productions owns and manages include the Great Chowder Cook-Off at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island; the Waterfront Reggae Festival at India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island; and the Providence Event Series which included a number of concerts and the International Oktoberfest at the ALEX & ANI City Center in the heart of downtown Providence’s Kennedy Plaza.  The Waterfront Productions team has co-produced a variety of other events over the past ten years, including the Newport Comedy Series, the WBRU Concert Series at Providence Piers, the Food Truck Festival, the Newport International Boat Show and the Newport Charter Yacht Show, and offers event management consulting services.

For more information on the Newport Skating Center, please visit www.newportskatingcenter.com or contact Michele Maker Palmieri, President and CEO of Waterfront Productions LLC via email at mmaker@newportwaterfrontevents.com or call (888) 900-8640, Ext. 709.  Follow the Newport Skating Center and RI Waterfront Events on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook: Facebook.com/skatenewport; Instagram: NewportSkatingCenter; Twitter: @SkateNewport; Facebook: Facebook.com/RIWaterfrontEvents/; Instagram: RIWaterfrontEvents; and Twitter: Twitter/RIWEvent.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.