New Year’s weekend ice skating in Congress Park up in air, other activities still on in Saratoga Springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Milder temperatures arriving this weekend may put a pause on the opening weekend of ice skating at Saratoga Springs Congress Park, but other New Year’s and New Year’s Day events are on schedule.
Department of Public Works Commissioner Jason Golub said a decision will be made Friday on whether the ice skating will take place.
“It’s always been weather dependent,” Golub said. “We have no control over the weather. We’re in upstate New York, so the weather changes hourly.”
National Weather Service Albany station meteorologist Chris Gitro said people will experience “abnormally warm temperatures” as they ring in the new year.
He said that the high temperature on Saturday is expected to be 44 degrees and on Sunday 49 degrees.
These warmer temperatures are expected to continue into early next week, Gitro said, stressing that these conditions will be it will likely melt any remaining snow and ice.
If ice skating happens, it will be the first time ice skating has taken place at the park in decades. Golub said there is believed to have been ice skating in the 1800s, but nothing in recent years.
Although ice skating this weekend is up in the air, the city plans to have it all winter long.
“The idea is to bring more people downtown during the winter,” Golub said.
Golub said the carousel, which is usually closed during the winter, will be open for free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Todd Shimkus, executive director of the county chamber of commerce, said while ice skating may not be happening this weekend, people can still enjoy a variety of other activities for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
“The warmer weather is great for people who want to come downtown to different places on Saturday night,” Shimkus said. “It’s great for people who are going to run the Day One 5k, however, it’s not really great for anyone who was planning to skate. If that was the only thing we planned to do and we couldn’t do it, I think we’re going to have a really successful weekend.”
He said 10% of the total sales for the Saratoga New Year’s Festival were made within the last 24 hours alone.
“The pace of sales has really picked up in the last couple of days,” he said.
Compared to Saratoga’s First Night in the past, the new two-day celebration will feature more musical acts, Shimkus said, and the return of fireworks, which will be set off atop the Saratoga Springs City Center parking garage.
Shimkus said the event will be more of a music festival than an art festival.
Musical acts include George Fletcher Blues Band, The Samples, Devlon Lamar Organ Trio and Mighty Mystic. Acts will appear at various downtown venues, including City Center, Whitman Brewing Company and The Ice House.
“I’m excited to have thousands of people coming downtown for New Year’s Eve, we haven’t had it since 2019,” he said.
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