On Tuesday, Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford announced the City of Gadsden will host “Christmas on the Coosa,” a 21-day ice skating winter experience beginning Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The temporary ice rink will be located at 344 1st Street in downtown Gadsden, across from the Spirit of American Citizenship Monument near Moragne Park.
Featuring approximately 3,000 square feet of ice-skating area, up to 85 skaters per hour over the age of 3 can show off their skills with a $12 admission price, which includes specially designed skates. The synthetic rink allows skaters to experience the look and feel of ice skating in warmer climates. Skate helpers will be available for an additional charge.
“It's beginning to feel like a Hallmark movie is coming to Gadsden,” said Ford. “We are inviting everyone to come experience ice skating over the Coosa River, and while you’re here, you may want to visit Christmas at the Falls or take a carriage ride through downtown. This season, we want residents and visitors to make lifelong memories in Gadsden!”
With food and beverage trucks, crafters, and other vendors on site daily, visitors can come early or stay after their skate time to get the whole experience. Visitors can hit the ice and warm up with hot cocoa or a relaxing Christmas cocktail under the Alabama sky.
Visitors can also capture special memories at the Polar Bear Club, featuring life-sized polar bear statues and other Instagram-worthy props. The city’s events department is planning visits from guests like Santa Claus, the Grinch, and Cindy Lou Who.
Gadsden’s Noccalula Falls Park and Campground is a regional hub for tourism each winter, with its Christmas at the Falls experience sporting over one million Christmas lights. Recently, Gadsden welcomed the launch of Historic Gadsden Carriage Tours, a local business offering horse-drawn carriage rides through Gadsden’s historic downtown.
The Christmas on the Coosa ice skating experience will be open for 21 days through Dec. 23. Each day will include hourly skate times with 15-minute breaks. Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Nov. 1, 2023, and may be purchased in advance online via the city's website or in person if supplies last. Those interested in this one-of-a-kind experience are encouraged to reserve their slots online early before they are filled.
During this season, the City of Gadsden will also host several special events in downtown Gadsden. The first two nights of Christmas on the Coosa, Dec. 2 and 3, will feature the city’s annual Mistletoe Market event, which offers something for everyone from various specialty vendors, including snacks, crafts, and gifts for all ages.
On Friday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m., the city will host its annual Christmas Tree Lighting event to illuminate the 50-foot-tall pine on the front lawn of Gadsden City Hall. Saturday, Dec. 9, will be the city’s annual Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. on Broad Street.
The festive-filled Gadsden area features dozens of other special Christmas-themed events and experiences. For more information, visit the City of Gadsden’s website or Great Gadsden Tourism.