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Akron, Ohio



City of Akron Press Release
Published: 11-22-2016

Akron, Ohio, November 22, 2016– For the thirteenth consecutive winter, the City of Akron will provide residents and visitors with a season of family-friendly outdoor events and attractions by kicking off Winterfest at Lock 3 this Friday, November 25, 2016.

Lock 3 is proud to be Northeast Ohio’s most popular destination for ice skating and to feature Ohio’s largest outdoor seasonal ice skating rink.  Some of Winterfest’s other returning attractions include: the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Reindeer Run slide, the Welcome Santa Parade, Polar Putt-Putt, Countdown to First Night, Breakfast with Santa, and the Polar Cub Rink.

“Winterfest is a hallmark of the Akron holiday season,” Mayor Horrigan said.  “I encourage everyone to visit Lock 3 and enjoy the ice rink, visit the new Akron Children’s Museum, stroll past the vintage window displays on Main Street, or attend one of the many unique seasonal events like the Crafty Mart’s pop-up market. There truly is something for everyone at Lock 3 during Winterfest.”

Mayor Horrigan and the Downtown Akron Partnership also encourage visitors to make the most of downtown Akron by having a meal or drinks at one of the over 30 restaurants and bars in downtown Akron before or after their visit to Lock 3.

Read summaries of the many fantastic Winterfest attractions and special events below, and visit for more information.

THE ICE RINK: The Lock 3 ice rink opened Friday, November 18, 2016 and will be open through Presidents Day, February 20, 2017. Admission to the ice rink is free to everyone. Skates can be rented for $3. Skate rental closes 30 minutes before the rink closes. Anyone who brings a same-day receipt from a Downtown restaurant or bar to Lock 3 will receive 1 free ice skating rental valid in January and February.

POLAR CUB RINK: The 28' x 48' rink designed for beginner skaters, age 14 and under, is an all-weather, indoor/outdoor synthetic skating surface and is one of our newest attractions to Lock 3. The Polar Cub Rink will operate during the same hours as the Ice Rink.

AKRON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: After years of planning and a very successful Pop-Up museum at Lock 3 last year, the newly remodeled Akron Children's Museum is officially open! Check out fun, interactive exhibits and activities focused on STEM, health and wellness, arts, culture, and community readiness. Admission is $5. Open Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

POLAR PUTT-PUTT: 9 holes of indoor putt-putt golf that winds through festive holiday decor. Fun for all ages. $3 for 9 holes and a hot chocolate.

THE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: On Friday November 25 at 7 p.m. the City of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership will light up the night sky over Lock 3. The half hour program hosted by WONE will feature The Ohio City Singers, lighting of the City of Akron Christmas Tree and a must-see pyrotechnics show. It is also tradition for guests to stay after the show and ice skate into the night.

THE WELCOME SANTA PARADE: Saturday November 26 at 11 a.m. This annual family tradition features over 75 units including marching bands, floats, costumed characters, dance groups and area organizations. The parade will end with Santa coming to town! Santa will stop at the main stage for the end of parade entertainment and then come to Lock 3 to greet everyone. All Lock 3 attractions will be open.

REINDEER RUN: Enjoy 150 feet of downhill fun on our all-season polymer coated slide designed for children 14 and under. Adults may accompany children on the slide. Only sleds provided by Lock 3 may be used and are rented for $3 for 30 minutes. The number of sleds available each half-hour will be limited to ensure maximum fun. Purchase wristband and time slot at Skate Rental Desk.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Sponsored by Sumners Butter. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 10, 11, 17 and 18 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Breakfast is $10 and includes pancakes with lots of yummy toppings,  sausage,  hot  chocolate  and orange juice; access to the Akron Children's Museum; and your choice of a skate rental, Reindeer Run wristband, or a game   of   Polar   Putt-Putt.   Bring    your    camera    for    plenty    of    photos    with    Santa!    Reservations recommended by calling Lock 3 at 330/375-2877.

COUNTDOWN TO FIRST NIGHT: A celebration in diversity and the largest community visual arts display in Northeast Ohio is Lock 3's “Countdown to First Night,” featuring 40, hand-painted banners from schools, churches, community centers, ethnic organizations and civic groups - each one illustrating an expression of the winter holiday season. Lock 3 unveils a new banner on the State Street Parking Deck façade each evening, between Nov. 25th and First Night.

THE VINTAGE O'NEIL'S WINDOW DISPLAYS: Stroll down Main St. between Bowery and State St. and enjoy the largest seasonal vintage collection in Ohio. The famous classic department store animated window displays that Akronites remember from the 1960’s through the 1980’s will be displayed in the windows of the O'Neil's and Polsky buildings. Displays include The 3 Little Pigs, The Wizard of Oz, 3 Men in a Tub, Alice In Wonderland, The Cabbage Patch Kids, Raggedy Ann and more.

STORY TIME: December 7, 14 and 21 from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Enjoy a favorite holiday book read by a local celebrity. Complimentary cookies and hot chocolate are provided.

CRAFTY MART PRESENTS COTTAGE MART: December 3 -4, 10 -11, and 17-18. Crafty Mart is hosting a holiday pop-up market with a curated collection of our area's finest artists and makers in the outdoor wooden cottages. Enjoy ice skating, the new Children's Museum space, have a cup of hot chocolate, and stroll through the outdoor marketplace. Do your holiday gift shopping for locally-made items by small business makers.

LOCK 3 JINGLE BELL BASH: December 10 at 6pm inside Lock 3, to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Akron. Admission is $10 at the door and each guest will receive  two  tickets  to  a  raffle,  one  drink  ticket,  and  food.  There will be coffee, hot chocolate, Thirsty Dog's Christmas Ale, soda, holiday cookies and hors d'oeuvres available. Guests will also have free access to ice skating and Polar Putt-Putt during the event.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: The concession stand at Lock 3 offers chili, soups and other hot items to warm skating and sledding enthusiasts. Akron’s own Thirsty Dog brews are offered, including Lock 3 Lager. Coca Cola soft drinks and hot chocolate are also available.

WEEKLY SPECIAL EVENTS: Need something to make your winter weekends a little warmer? Stay tuned to the website for more events and activities throughout January and February like the Chili Challenge, Craft Beer Fest, Super Hero Weekend, Fiesta for First Tee and more!

For group sales, party packages, private rentals and fundraising opportunities at Lock 3 call 330/375-2877 or e-mail inquiries to [email protected]. Visit for a complete and regularly updated schedule of events and attractions.

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44308
Phone: 330/375-2325

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