Ice rink at Union Square reopens after year off due to pandemic

After a year hiatus, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink is back in Union Square. 

"It’s so symbolic, the ice skating rink, not only that it marks the start of the holiday season, but for all of us here in San Francisco and visitors alike, this is even more special because it means San Francisco is open. Union Square is open, and we are ready for business, for the holidays, and to invite everyone back," said Union Square Alliance Executive Marisa Rodriguez.

The ice rink opening kicked off Wednesday morning with speakers and performers, finally giving the San Francisco Ice Theatre a chance to perform for an audience, after only practicing for most of the pandemic.

"This is like our first performance since covid," said performer Natalie Tonkovich. 

"It’s a happy thought that you’re going to be on ice and performing in front of everyone," said performer Aubrey Chiu.  

There are some changes this year to prevent the spread of covid. Everyone must buy tickets online.

"This year we are cashless, and touchless. And you must be vaccinated to come to the rink," said Robert Keith, General Manager of the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink.

If children are under the age of 12, they do not need to be vaccinated. 

Keith said the rink has some very exciting activities planned, including 80s nights on some Fridays, a Silent Skate Party on December 9th, the annual Drag Queens on Ice on December 2nd, and the Polar Bear Skate on New Years Day.

"We’re back, bigger, better than ever!" said Keith.

The rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. through January 17th. Tickets are $19 and include skate rentals. A portion of the proceeds goes to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.