VACAVILLE — Temperatures in Vacaville topped out at just over 60 degrees Saturday, but it was positively Arctic inside – and outside – the Vacaville Ice Center.
The city’s Winter Wonderland holiday celebration was in full swing all afternoon and well into the evening with family ice skating, snowman contests and live music.
A large pile of man-made snow took up a portion of the driveway in front of the main entrance and families were able to frolic and build snowmen in any of four contests throughout the afternoon.
“This is my second snowman. The first one was over there, with a hockey helmet,” said 11-year-old Jayce Curenton of Fairfield as he feverishly packed together the base for a snowman. “I really want that prize.”
Jacye worked away on the snowman with his brother Brenden, 7, and mom Andi Curenton.
“It is really cool,” said Andi Curenton as she marveled at the idea of playing in the snow in Vacaville. “It’s really funny because the ice rink is really a great place for families anyway and we’re part of the hockey family here. To actually come out here and be a part of something that’s non-hockey-related is pretty darn cool. Just to see all the extra stuff that they have for the kids, this stuff is amazing.”
The family spends a lot of time at the ice center, but Saturday made it an even more special place in their eyes.
“I love this place anyway, but this is just 150 percent better,” Andi Curenton said. “Where else can you do this?”
As the snowman took shape, the boys decided it was time to dress him.
That’s when mom broke out her custom snowman kit, complete with top hat, twigs for arms, buttons and, of course, a corn-cob pipe.
Inside the ice center, families rocked out with a live performance by local favorites, The Hipwaders, who jammed out a set filled with holiday favorites.
Families also had the choice of free skate on one rink or skating to a movie on the other.
In the dark of the free skate rink the ice was transformed into a true winter wonderland with Christmas decor adorning the walls as well as center ice.
Families, couples and individuals made the rounds of the rink to even more Christmas music.
In the lobby area, vendors peddled their wares and children were able to visit with Santa Claus.
Some folks just sat and defrosted with cups of hot chocolate.
“We’re out here to see The Hipwaders and do a little ice skating,” said Josh Price of American Canyon as he and sons Sam, 4, and Will, 6, thawed out.
Will said his favorite part was the skating.
Price said the boys were able to use plastic buckets to keep their balance as they practiced skating.
Sam said he enjoyed the music the most.
“This is our first time with this one,” Price said. “They’re big fans of the band, so whenever they’re out local we try to follow them around. We’ve never been to the ice skating rink and the place is cool.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.