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Downtown Winter Wonderland to Feature Skatin' on the Square

Flurry of Hopkinsville holiday activities will include three-day ice skating experience

For three days in early December, Hopkinsville will be transformed into Hopkins-chill, offering an array of family-friendly holiday activities downtown, including Hoptown’s first-ever temporary ice skating rink, the Mini Pennyrile Polar Express and the annual HES/Energy Net Christmas Parade, among others. 

The 2,500-square foot rink, which measures approximately 60 feet long, will be positioned within the Founders Square parking lot and accommodate 80 skaters during a single session. Skatin’ on the Square will be set up from Dec. 7-9, giving individuals and groups ample chances to hit the ice during 16 different 90-minute sessions. 

The synthetic ice setup — run by Indianapolis-based Heart Breaker Entertainment — can endure any weather conditions. Cost per person will be $10, which includes skate rental and an hour-and-a-half session in the rink. 

“We are thrilled to be adding this exciting experience to the holiday season, and certainly hope folks in the community and surrounding regions will come take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tab Brockman. “With all of the tremendous activities in store during the weekend of Skatin’ on the Square, Hoptown is in for a winter wonderland like it’s never seen before.” 

While walk-up sales will be available, Skatin’ on the Square attendees are encouraged to register and purchase their session(s) in advance by visiting tinyurl.com/SkatinOnTheSquare. Pre-registration will guarantee a spot on the ice. Groups of six or more people are asked to call 270-887-4290 or stop by the Parks and Recreation Center at 2600 Thomas Street to make reservations. 

The available Skatin’ on the Square sessions are Friday, Dec. 7 (9-10:30am, 10:30am-12:00pm, 12-1:30pm, 5-6:30pm, 6:30-8pm, 8-9:30pm), Saturday, Dec. 8 (12-1:30pm, 1:30-3pm, 3-4:30pm, 7-8:30pm, 8:30-10pm) and Sunday, Dec. 9 (1-2:30pm, 2:30-4pm, 4-5:30pm, 5:30-7pm, 7-8:30pm). 

Food trucks and coffee/hot chocolate vendors will be on site during Skatin’ on the Square. 

If ice skating isn’t your style, there are plenty of other holiday activities to tide you over downtown on Saturday, Dec. 8, when the Hopkinsville-Christian County Downtown Farmers Market will host Christmas Market on the Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 110 W. 9th Street. Goodies, holiday-handcrafted items and seasonal foods will be on display and available for purchase. EBT, debit and credit cards will be accepted. 

That same morning, Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County will offer photos with Santa, Christmas crafts, story time, snacks and train layout during the Mini Pennyrile Polar Express, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Woody Winfree Fire-Transportation Museum at 310 E. 9th Street. 

The event, which is completely free, will culminate with Santa’s reading of The Polar Express at 1 p.m. The Hopkinsville-Christian County Library is also offering a free event — Read Around the Christmas Tree — which will feature a story-reading from the Grinch, and cookie decorating from 1-3 p.m. at 1101 Bethel Street. 

Later that evening, the HES/Energy Net Christmas Parade — featuring Grand Marshal Brice Long — starts at 5:15 p.m. The parade route heads south on Main Street, winding its way from Glass Avenue to 13th Street through festive downtown. 

The deadline for Christmas Parade float registration has been extended to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The cost to enter a float into the parade is $20 (plus tax) and a new toy, to be given as a Christmas gift to a child or family in need. More information is available at HoptownRec.com or by calling 270-887-4290. 

Immediately following the Christmas Parade on Dec. 8, the Downtown Hopkinsville Tree Lighting will take place at Founders Square. The historic and newly-renovated Alhambra Theatre will then offer a free screening of The Polar Express, beginning at 7 p.m. at 507 S. Main Street. 

The public is also invited to nominate candidates for Hopkinsville’s Holiday Decoration Award. Recognition will be given in two categories: Best Decorated Residence will go to 12 private homes (one award per city ward) and Best Decorated Business will go to one chosen winner. 

Nominees will be judged on use of decorations, creativity and theme. To enter or nominate a home or business, phone in your nomination to the Public Works Department at 270-890-0703. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Homes and businesses will be judged the week of Dec. 3 and announced at the aforementioned Downtown Tree Lighting the night of Dec. 8.