There will be no Marietta Square ice skating rink this year

Plans for the holiday ice skating rink on Marietta Square have been put on ice.

The group that organizes the winter festivities in downtown Marietta announced Wednesday that it will not be creating an ice skating rink in Glover Park after three years of doing so.

“Our focus this year will be on enhancing Glover Park and creating an authentic, charming experience. We thank you for your generous support over the years and for allowing us to create our Winter Wonderland,” said Stephanie Coston, who organizes the festivities. “We expect this year to be the best one yet!”

An estimated 5,000 people came to the skating rink the first year at $12 a pop. The total sales neared $180,000.

But, Coston said, that's when they had more of a monopoly on the icy fun business.

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Coston’s heard there will be 17 rinks around the metro Atlanta area this year.

“Our goal is to offer a premier unique experience,” she said.

City spokeswoman Lindsey Wiles said Coston and her group, The Branding Project, got a tourism grant of $24,000 a month. Those are funded through hotel/motel and auto rental taxes.

The city council approved The Branding Project’s request for a reduction in funds Tuesday night.

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The Project asked for a reduction of $11,500 — so they are now getting $12,500 per month.

With the funds they have, Coston said they’ll be able to hold many events.

Without the rink taking up space, they can do things like host an altered scene of “A Christmas Carol” titled “Have You Seen Scrooge on the Square,” presented by Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square, performed by Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’s Palmer Williams Jr.

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The rink went through a lot while it was open. It was extended past New Year's festivities and into 2017 due to popularity. And remember that one time the ice skating rink was shut down due to ... ice?

This year there will also be: pictures with Santa, a First Friday Winter Wonderland Art Walk, candlelight shopping, a VIP Kris Kringle experience called Santa's Magical Moments and Tuba Christmas.

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