Hanford thinks cool with the Winter Wonderland rink


An artist rendering of the city of Hanford shows what the Winter Wonderland attraction will look like when it goes live in November.

Hanford city center lights up its historic Civic Auditorium for a first Winter Wonderland this holiday season.

After 16 difficult months with altered rallies, Hanford is bringing an ice rink to attract residents from surrounding counties.

“It truly is a unique and historic setting which we believe is one of a kind,” said Brad Albert, Director of Parks and Community Services for the City of Hanford. “So we’re lucky to have this location.

Hanford’s Department of Parks and Community Services will bring a 50-by-70-foot rink from Magic ICE USA and come with 300 pairs of ice skates for the public. The event is centered in Hanford City Center Civic Park from November 20 to January 9.

“We plan to create what we call the Hanford Winter Wonderland event,” Albert said.

It will be open seven days a week with food vendors, hot chocolate, photos with Santa on Saturdays, and shows. A beer and wine garden, run by Main Street Hanford, will operate Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with live music. Live music and marketing will be funded by Main Street Hanford.

The Winter Wonderland event is the first of its kind in Hanford, and Albert hopes to make it a tradition in the park. After not having had a party of this caliber since 2019, Albert said he hopes people are excited to step out for the event.

“We find that people are really thirsty to go out and socialize and be with their families,” he said.

Albert has past experience with consultants who have worked for Disney, and he said that listening to these consultants discuss their vacation events makes it all about meaning. Albert carries that into the planning – thinking of the music, the taste and smells of food, the cold of ice cream, and the allure of lights.

“It’s all a matter of experience. We have a chance of that first impression, ”said Albert.

He hopes to partner with Amtrak so people can take the train to and from the event. He also hopes to attract businesses for the holidays.

Tickets will be sold at the event and online, and include rental of ice skates and an hour and a half on the ice.

The department has managed to organize annual events, including the Renaissance Fair, father-daughter and mother-son dances.

The hope is that Winter Wonderland becomes a tradition.

“That would be the long-term goal. Of course, this is a financial commitment from the city, ”said Albert.

The ice rink was adopted as part of the overall budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Staff costs total $ 206,300 and projected revenues are $ 145,563. However, since budgeting, additional revenue sources including sponsorship and vendor revenue splits are being developed.

The City of Hanford advocates that this be beneficial to local businesses and the community as a whole, as the city’s goal is for the rink to be a regional destination for Kings, Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties. With the bracelets, customers can get a 10% discount at some businesses, and the city is hoping that this will generate some income.

The city targets young families and millennials for the attraction.

The rink will operate from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to public skating hours, it will also be available for weekday school trips, private parties and ice skating lessons.

“If we can create great experiences, people will come,” he said.

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