GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins, Comcast and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation will present the 2010 Great Skate Winterfest this Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged and certain activity fees will apply. All proceeds benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.
The Winterfest portion of the event kicks off at noon on Saturday and continues until 10 p.m. A celebration of winter in our city, the Winterfest features a host of family-friendly events and activities, including:
• Ice skating - $1 skating fee/free skate rental
• Winter sports demonstrations: Grand Rapids Sled Wings (noon), Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club (1 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.), Mascot Broomball (6 p.m.)
• Family activity tent (noon-6 p.m.): Grand Rapids Art Museum (noon-5 p.m.), Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Greater Grand Rapids Safe Kids, *Caricatures by David Wodarek (noon-3 p.m.)
• Dog sled presentations (noon-6 p.m.): Shemhadar Kennels
• *Horse-drawn carriage rides (1-4 p.m.): Classic Carriage
• Ice sculpture demonstration (3 p.m.): Ice Sculptures Limited
• Games: Box hockey, bubble hockey, accuracy puck shooting
• Fire pits and warming tent
* Activity fee applies
The eighth annual Great Skate will then commence immediately following the Griffins’ Saturday night home game against Rockford. Each Griffins player and coach will skate with fans for at least one hour around the clock, from 10 p.m. Saturday through to 10 p.m. Sunday. Fans can help raise money for the Griffins Youth Foundation by sponsoring a Griffin or soliciting pledges for their own participation. Go to griffinshockey.com/greatskate.
Highlights of the Great Skate include no skating fee for fans; the participation of dozens of “celebrity skaters,” including local media and sports personalities; an ice sculpture demonstration by Ice Sculptures Limited at 3 p.m.; a visit from the John Ball Zoo’s winter animals from 1-3 p.m.; and horse-drawn carriage rides from 1-4 p.m. ($5 per person).
Participants will be able to warm themselves around fire pits and inside a warming tent, where they can enjoy coffee, hot chocolate and other refreshments.
The current lineup of Griffins skaters for the Great Skate is as follows (subject to change; go to griffinshockey.com/greatskate for the most updated schedule):
Griffins Skate Times and Pledge Pages
Saturday, Jan. 30
10-11 p.m. - Head coach Curt Fraser
11 p.m.-Midnight - Assistant coach Jim Paek
Sunday, Jan. 31
Midnight-1 a.m. - #25 Jamie Tardif
1-2 a.m. - #31 Daniel Larsson
2-3 a.m. - #28 Sergei Kolosov
3-4 a.m. - #35 Thomas McCollum
4-5 a.m. - #4 Travis Ehrhardt
5-6 a.m. - #27 Tomas Tatar
6-7 a.m. - #13 Jan Mursak
7-8 a.m. - #3 Logan Pyett
8-9 a.m. - #8 Cory Emmerton
9-10 a.m. - #10 John Vigilante
10-11 a.m. - #16 Ryan Oulahen
11 a.m.-Noon - #22 Andy Delmore
Noon-1 p.m. - #33 Doug Janik
1-2 p.m. - #15 Patrick Rissmiller
2-3 p.m. - TBA
3-4 p.m. - #9 Evan McGrath
4-5 p.m. - #18 Mattias Ritola
5-6 p.m. - #11 Kris Newbury
6-7 p.m. - #19 Jeremy Williams
7-8 p.m. - #5 Jakub Kindl
8-9 p.m. - #23 Paul Crosty
9-10 p.m. - #17 Francis Pare
Sponsors of the Great Skate Winterfest include Centennial Securities, Comerica Bank, Dean Foods, the Downtown Alliance, Executive Coach Service, Fast Signs, Founders Bank & Trust, The Gilmore Collection, Huntington Bank, Lighthouse Insurance Group, Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, and Uncle Bob's Self Storage. The event is also supported by Cintas and Starbucks.
Established in 1995, the Griffins Youth Foundation promotes academic excellence, community involvement and healthy lifestyles among the youth of West Michigan, enhancing their lives through hockey and ice-related sports. For more information about the foundation, visit griffinskids.org.