Opening date set for Carmel skating rink, Christmas market

(Provided Photo/City of Carmel)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Opening day is Saturday, Nov. 18, for Carmel’s newest holiday attractions: an outdoor ice skating rink called The Ice at Center Green and German Christmas market “Christkindlmarkt.”

Carmel city leaders made the announcement Monday morning along with a construction update.

“I think we can safely say that winter in Carmel, Indiana, will never be the same,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “We do a lot of festivals and events in the summer in Carmel. We haven’t done as much in the winter. We don’t have subzero temperatures usually, and I think we need to work harder to do things in the winter, get more people out.”

The Ice at Center Green and Christkindlmarkt will be in the square between the Palladium and Tarkington Theater off 3rd Avenue SW and City Center Drive. Opening day events run from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 and will feature Santa Claus, carolers, live reindeer and a holiday tree lighting ceremony, as well as ice skating and market shopping.

“We’re going to have the huts for the Christkindlmarkt on both sides of the rink. The side closest to the Tarkington Theater will be the ice skate rental,” explained Maria Murphy, market master and CEO for the project. “There will be a lot of food booths along the inside of the ice rink and on the other side you’ll have our guest services and merchandise booths.”

Murphy lived in Germany for a year and partnered with middle and high school German teachers in Carmel to make the market as authentic as possible.

“Porcelain, music boxes, beautiful pieces from businesses as well as handmade wooden pyramids with candles that turn a windmill at the top,” said Murphy, listing a few of her favorite gifts.

“A lot of these products that you’ll find at our market you won’t find anywhere else in America,” said Brainard. “They’ve been purchased from small German artisan shops, people working in the back in their homes, that hand make these items.”

As far as construction goes, Brainard is optimistic about meeting the deadline.

“The ice rink panels that will hold the water or the ice are going to be installed beginning today,” said Brainard.

“The wooden huts or stalls for the Christkindlmarkt have been delivered and should be up by Nov. 10. The furniture, the fire pits, the tables and chairs will be installed on the week leading up to the grand opening,” Brainard continued.

After the festivities on opening day, The Ice at Center Green will be open Wednesday through Sunday until March 11. Tickets for 90-minute skate sessions are $6 for children 10 and younger, $9 for adults Friday through Sunday, and $6 for adults Wednesday and Thursday. Skate rental will be offered for $3. Monday and Tuesday are reserved for corporate events.

The Christkindlmarkt will run Wednesday to Sunday through Dec. 24. For more information on the grand opening and season information, click here.