SPRINGFIELD – To celebrate Illinois Statehood Day on Dec. 3, the Old State Capitol Foundation is sponsoring free ice skating to the first 60 customers of the outdoor LRS Ice Skating Rink, located on the grounds of the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. The first 60 skaters that night will be able to skate for free and also receive free ice skate rental.
“The Old State Capitol Foundation promotes awareness of the Old State Capitol, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office, and Lincoln’s Tomb,” said David Joens, president of the foundation. “While our goal is to help preserve history, our mission is also to make sure the Old State Capitol remains relevant today and serves as a vital part of the downtown Springfield community, which is why we are sponsoring this event.”
In October, students from the Sangamon CEO Program, an extracurricular business training activity for Sangamon County high school students, and students from the Capitol Area Career Center built a temporary ice-skating rink on the grounds of the Old State Capitol. The students partnered with the City of Springfield, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and local business LRS to bring this popular outdoor activity downtown.
This isn’t the first time ice skating has been offered on the Old State Capitol grounds. Research shows skating was done there as far back as 1866.
“IDNR is excited about the opportunity to work with Sangamon CEO and all of the project partners to help make the dream of a downtown ice rink a reality this season,” said Von Bandy, director of the IDNR Office of Land Management. “We appreciate the generous donation from the Old State State Capitol Foundation that will help individuals enjoy this special opportunity at no cost.”
The ice rink is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and the free tickets are available on a first-come basis. The rink is open in November and December on Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The cost of admission is generally $7 to $10, with an additional $5 charge for skate rental, although customers can bring their own skates. Check the ice rink’s Instagram page @lrsicerink for updates on any weather-related closures.