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Dancing on Ice star Michael Zenezini opens Bournemouth's first ever outdoor ice rink
BOURNEMOUTH'S first outdoor ice rink opened yesterday evening, transforming the Lower Gardens into a winter wonderland.
The event was sprinkled with extra stardust as Dancing on Ice star Michael Zenezini and his professional partner Katalin 'Lina' Szakal took to the ice to perform a dance, before the first skaters made their way onto the rink.
The chairman of the town's Business Improvement District (BID) and CEO of department store Beales, Tony Brown, told waiting crowds that the ice rink would turn Bournemouth into one of the south coast's premier destinations.
“We have what we believe is a unique attraction here,” he said.
“It is the very first year we've had an outdoor skate rink. We wanted to create a destination where people can come and shop and eat and have fun too. People can make a day of it - we have something for everyone.”
The rink was introduced and commissioned by the BID, and is operated by BH Live.
Zenezini, who first learnt how to skate as a child 24 years ago, said he was delighted to have opened the new attraction.
“It's a great thing for children to do, because it's very fun and you get wonderful exercise too,” he said.
“It's a great activity, and we hope people enjoy skating as much as we do.”
The first dancers stepped onto the ice for free after the rink was officially unveiled.
Laura Dean, 26, and her mother Jane, both from Highcliffe, said their skating session had left them feeling festive.
“It's absolutely fantastic,” said Laura, while Jane said: “It's exhilarating.
“It's a great thing for Bournemouth, and it's a lot of fun.”
Lyn Glass, who is on BH Live's board of directors, didn't hesitate before hitting the rink.
“It's a bit jolly,” she said.
“Although it's exercise, it's fun too. I very much hope we'll be doing this again next year.”
The ice rink will be open until January 6, and is big enough for 100 skaters.
Tickets are £8.50 for adults, and £7.50 for children aged four to 16.