Skating rink, more stalls on the list of plans for this year’s Winterfest in Spencer

Published 12:01 am Friday, April 15, 2022

SPENCER – December is a long way away but organizers are already working on a signature event in Spencer that debuted last year.

The town hosted its first Winterfest in 2021, taking inspiration from other Bavarian market events organized around the country to create its own event complimentary to the N.C. Transportation Museum’s annual Polar Express programs happening across the street. The event’s also served as an open house and grand opening for the new town hall.

Kimberly Lentz, an organizing committee member, said there are already big plans for next year’s event. Notably, the committee is planning on bringing in a 2,000-square-foot skating rink.

Rather than setting up a big an elaborate rink freezer unit outdoors or praying for exceptionally cold weather, the plan is to bring in a synthetic rink. Synthetic rinks are made from plastics that behave like ice and can be skated on with normal ice skates.

“It looks exactly like a regular ice skating rink,” Lentz said.

The synthetic rink will also have amenities like benches to put on skates that make it look like the real thing.

The rink is one of a number of improvements being made this year. Lentz said the plan is to double the number of vendor huts this year. Last year’s huts were built by North Rowan High School students.

The huts will be in the same area this year, but the venue in Park Plaza will be rearranged so the town does not have to close 5th Street to accommodate it.

With additional parking on fifth street and parking numbers from the inaugural year taken into account, parking is not expected to be an issue with the change.

The organizers also want to improve the look and feel of the event. There should be permanent lights installed in the Park Plaza area by Duke Power by the time the event comes around this year and the committee is working with a festival light specialist helping the lights this year.

Both weekends are already fully booked with stage performers and, sticking with the Bavarian theme, a German band will perform the first night of the festival.

“All of the activities, we are hoping to be free,” Lentz said. “And if we can raise the money to pay for these things, that’s our goal.”

Spencer said the event last year was fun and reminded people like her of how lively Spencer used to be when people would walk around town and knew each other.

“This is just a great way for the community, and the county, everybody to just come together and enjoy being together,” Lentz said.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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