‘Winter Wonderland’ to feature ice skating rink

Students won’t have to go far tonight to get a sense of winter in Florida.

USF Campus Activities Board (CAB) is setting up an artificial ice rink for its fourth annual “Winter Wonderland” event from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Amphitheater.

“With the Winter Wonderland tradition, one of the biggest things is to try to create and simulate a winter in Florida,” said Sam Filkins, a graduate adviser for the Office of Student Programs.

The 30-by-40-foot rink holds 30 people at a time and is made of plastic polymer material. Students can use ice skates for free, said Amanda Stern, director of the event and a sophomore majoring in sociology.

“It’s basically like a cutting board material but more slippery,” she said. “I’ve never used one myself, but I know people who have and they say that it really does feel like ice skating.”

Other activities at the event include a snow machine, a personal photo and “Create a Critter,” where participants can make a stuffed animal to take home, said Filkins, a graduate student studying education.

The event, which is funded by student-paid Activity and Service Fees, costs around $20,000, with the rink costing a “few thousand dollars,” Stern said.

CAB expects between 500 and 1,000 students to attend the event, Stern said.

To ensure that every student who attends has a chance to skate, attendees will be allotted a certain amount of skating time, Stern said. If it rains, the rink will be moved to the lower gymnasium of the Campus Recreation Center.