By CHERIL VERNON
The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting three days of ice skating in downtown Palestine this weekend in conjunction with its Christmastime festival “Frost Fest: A Vintage Holiday in the Pineywoods” on Saturday.
The ice skating rink will be located at the corner of Spring and John streets in downtown Palestine and open from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“I hope everyone will come out and bring their families. There will be lots to do and see. We are so fortunate to live in a small community where a bunch of people can come together, come up with a new idea, and still have lots of volunteers to help pull it off,” Palestine Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors’ Past President Sloan Shuffler said. “This is a family friendly, healthy environment, and where else will people in Palestine ice skate in 70 degree weather?”
The price for one hour of skating will be $10 for all ages and will include skate rental.
Kicking off Saturday’s events will be the “Freeze Your Buns Run” one mile fun run starting at 9 a.m. by the ice skating rink at Spring and John streets. The paved course will weave through the downtown area. Cost is $15 for adults (which includes t-shirt and jingle bells for shoes) and free for children age 12 and under (doesn’t include t-shirt).
Other activities on Saturday near the ice skating rink area include inflatables for the kids and the “Snowball Café,” which will offer hot chocolate and wassail all day.
A self-guided downtown walking tour will show off the area.
For those that just want to sit and watch, “Frosty’s Mug” Beer Garden will be open.
“This is the first year for this kind of project, so we can just add to it each year,” Shuffler said. “Fortunately, the chamber has a lot of great volunteers to help.”
Local artisans will demonstrate their talents including a blacksmith and local historian and quilter Carol Herrington, who will be dressed Victorian — which fits with the “Vintage holiday in the Pineywoods” theme.
“Jean Mollard has offered us space at the Redlands building to show off handmade quilts. I believe these have been made by area artisans,” Shuffler said.
The Frost Fest also is sponsoring three contests with cash prizes — gingerbread contest (with an adult category and one for children under age 12), cake decorating and chocolate contest.
First-place winner in each contest wins $100; and second place will receive $50. Entry fees are $10 per contest. Deadline to enter these competitions has been extended to Thursday.
Complete entry and rules are available online at www.palestinefrostfest.com
First Christian Church, located at 113 E. Crawford St., will offer stained glass tours of the church on Saturday.
“Pastor Jordan Byrd tells me he has been asking some of the older members to help with the history,” Shuffler said.
In addition, area talent will provide music and dancing throughout the day Saturday. Smokin’ Country Productions will deejay Friday, Saturday and Sunday with holiday music.
Scheduled to perform include: The Academy of Dance from noon to 12:15 p.m.; Westwood Elementary School music class, 12:15 to 1 p.m.; Sacred Heart Singers, 3:15 to 3:30 p.m.; Palestine High School Drill Team, 4 to 4:15 p.m.; and Mary Lou Audas School of Dance from Gladewater, 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Cars of Palestine will have antique cars on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
In addition, Santa’s Workshop will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Oak and Magnolia streets in downtown Palestine in a 6,000 square foot historic space. Admission is $5.
Volunteers photographers will be taking the pictures of the children with Santa, at a cost of $5 each for a 5x7 size photo.
For more information about Frost Fest, stop by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce office at 401 W. Main St. or call 903-729-6066.