Florida, schmorida: Eustis debuts outdoor ice rink

City hopes to draw more visitors to community

By Clay LePard - Reporter

EUSTIS, Fla. - It's a little bit colder in one Lake County community, but it has nothing to do with the temperature outside. Dozens came out this week as Eustis officially opened its new outdoor ice rink for the holidays. 

"I was real excited," said Christina Kilduff, of Mount Dora. 

Tickets cost $10 per skater for the day, including ice skate rentals. The rink is open through January 6, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. 

City Manager Ron Neibert and City Events Coordinator Erin Bailey helped bring the 4,000-square-foot rink as the newest attraction to Eustis. 

"We just look for ideas to bring a little bit of winter to Florida," Neibert said.  "We're constantly working to try to bring something new or creative to Eustis, to get interest in Eustis, people into Eustis." 

It's all part of the city's push to draw visitors in, similar to how other communities have snowfalls or over-the-top light shows.

"I don't think we're competing. I think we're setting the bar higher, so they're going to have to catch up to us," Neibert said. 

On Friday, the city of Eustis will host the 31st Annual Light-Up Eustis Celebration in historic downtown from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring a light-up ceremony and showcasing a 75-foot snow slide, live music, entertainment, food trucks and vendors.  

Happy holidays!

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