Winter Park at The Creamery opens in Kennett Square01/10/2023 10:26AM ● By Richard Gaw
Photo by Chris Barber Winter Park at the Creamery opened on Jan. 6 at The Creamery in Kennett Square.
By Richard L. Gaw
Throughout its history, Square Roots Collective has developed venues, events and initiatives all designed to move the community of southern Chester County forward.
Their latest project, unveiled last Friday afternoon, will not only move local residents forward, but backward and side to side, all while wearing ice skates.
On Jan. 6, the first skaters enthusiastically took to the new Winter Park at The Creamery, a 41’ x 83’ skating rink whose surface is made of a substance called Glice, a Swiss-engineered synthetic product that has been installed at over 2,000 ice rinks throughout the world. Depending on the usage, location and level of maintenance, the life-span of the product is around 12 years, and all Glice sheets are reversible which can significantly expand the life of the skating surface.
The original idea for the rink was conceived several years ago by Square Roots founder and Team Leader Mike Bontrager, but due to the organization’s commitment to other projects it was placed on hold.
“The Creamery comes alive when people are using both the outside and inside of it, and we wanted to re-create that dynamic during the winter,” said Square Roots Collective Chief of Staff Luke Zubrod. “When we met this past October, our thought was, ‘How do we activate this space throughout this period, draw people in and do it in a way that is fun for the community?’ That’s when we re-initiated the ice skating rink concept and Michael DePaolo (the director of hospitality for Square Roots Collective) loved the idea. The next thing we knew, we were headed to the races in figuring out the logistics of operating an ice skating rink.”
“The rink will provide a place for the people of Kennett Square and the surrounding areas to come by during the winter, enjoy the entertainment, food and beverages that The Creamery provides, while at the same time be able to enjoy a great winter activity,” DePaolo said. “The rink will help create that same vitality that The Creamery enjoys throughout the rest of the year.”
Zubrod said that Square Roots Collective is renting the skating rink and all of its equipment – including a vacuuming and polishing process -- on a test trial basis through April, and if it is successful, it will purchase it and make it a regular addition to The Creamery.
“The popularity as demonstrated through ticket sales will tell the story of whether or not this will be something that the community and the wider region will be attracted to,” he said.
Zubrod said that the new rink will rekindle the fond memories some local residents of previous generations have of an ice rink that used to be near Kennett High School, that featured a light that would flash ‘green’ when the ice was solid, indicating that it was safe for skating.
“It’s great that this new rink is in the shadow of the history of what used to be the life of Kennett Square,” he said. “Now, it’s coming back as part of the new life of Kennett Square.”
Winter Park at The Creamery is located at 401 Birch Street in Kennett Square. Hours for public skating will be Fridays from 4:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays from 12:30-9:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 12:30 to 5 p.m., and will remain in operation through April 2. Sessions are 60 minutes long, and fees are $10 per session and $4 for a skate rental, in sizes ranging from Kid’s size 9 through Men’s size 13. Skaters are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their session start time to check-in. The rink can also be used for private events. To learn more and to reserve a time slot, visit www.kennettcreamery.com/ice-rink-2023.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].