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12/01/2010 10:06 AM - Rockford, Ill.-Davis Park in downtown Rockford will soon be getting a winter make-over.  The Rockford IceHogs, MetroCentre and Park District in conjunction with Harris Bank have collaborated to bring the Harris Winter Wonderland to the community. 

The Harris Winter Wonderland is a one-of-a-kind 12,000-square-foot synthetic ice rink and trail.  Concessions will be available along with a heated seating area in the “Harris Chalet” located on the second floor of the Davis Park building.  Admission cost to skate is $3 and $2 for skate rentals.

“We are so excited to debut the Harris Winter Wonderland,” said Gordon Kaye, Executive Director and General Manager of RAVE.  “This will be the largest, outdoor synthetic ice rink in the world.  You don’t have to be a professional skater to enjoy this rink; we want it to be an experience for everyone.”

The grand opening will be Friday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m.  The public and media are invited to attend free of admission and skate rental will be available for $2.  IceHogs Defenseman Shawn Lalonde will be in attendance signing autographs, along with the IceHogs mascot Hammy.

On game days IceHogs fans can skate for free with an IceHogs game ticket.  Davis Park is located right down the road from the MetroCentre Box Office, at 211 North Main Street in downtown Rockford along the Rock River.

“Improving the quality of life in the areas we serve—that’s what Harris’ community involvement is all about, so we jumped at the chance to help bring a venue like the Harris Winter Wonderland to Rockford as an affordable, accessible option for family fun,” said Andrea Ward, Rockford Regional President, Harris.  “As members of the local community, it’s inspiring for us at Harris to be a part of this historic moment for Rockford.”

“This project demonstrates how successful we can be through partnerships and collaborations.  We are so pleased that Davis Park will be a destination not only in the summer, but also this winter where people of all ages can enjoy the outdoors participating in a fun and healthy activity,” said Rockford Park District Deputy Director of Operations Jay Sandine.  “It will be great to see people getting out of the house and heading downtown.”

The Harris Winter Wonderland will be in operation from December 3 through January.  Regular hours are Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Fridays from 6-10 p.m. and weekend days from 2-6 p.m.  Holiday hours are from December 20-30, Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday hours will remain the same.  The Wonderland will be closed Christmas Eve and Day. 

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Dec. 8 vs. Texas Stars. Game time is 6:35 p.m.  The IceHogs kick off a season-high seven-game homestand when the Stars return to the MetroCentre. Wednesday is another Taco Bell Dollar Day presented by WXRX as fans can purchase beer, Vienna Beef hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets for just $1.