Scott Sullivan, manager of Armidale Servies Club, believes it is a first for the region.
An ice skating rink was set up next to the club and will be open throughout January for the school holidays, which Mr Sullivan said understood was the first time ice skating had come to the region.
“I would put this down as a first, I’ll claim it,” Mr Sullivan said. “If anyone wants to take that off me I’m happy to talk to them. I think it’s actually a first for the New England and North West.”
On Friday, kids of all ages pulled on skates to try ice skating in the rink, which has been set up inside on marquee which is on an old bowling green.
“We wanted to do something different for the Armidale community,” Mr Sullivan said.
“I saw January as time when a lot of people get to go away and do things, but there’s a fair portion in our community who don’t have that opportunity, so we as a club decided we’d bring this to town to allow that portion of our community enjoy something different for summer,” he said.
Leanne Buchholz runs the mobile ice skating business with her husband Jason, travelling around Queensland and NSW with it, and they were contacted by the Servies Club who asked them to bring it to Armidale.
She said it offered something unique as not many children in Armidale would have had the opportunity to go ice skating.
“It’s something fun they can come along and do that’s unique, you don’t usually get a chance to do ice skating in Armidale, so it’s something to pass the time in the school holidays,” Mrs Buchholz said.
The rink took about a week to set up, and Mrs Buchholz said it takes four days for the ice to freeze before the decorations are added around the marquee.
“We just hose it, but there’s a big refrigeration system and a lot of power,” she said.
At the end of the month, when it comes time to pack up, she said it could take more than 24 hours for the ice to melt, depending on the weather.
Meanwhile, Mr Sullivan said the club had received inquiries from throughout the region, and families were travelling to Armidale to take the opportunity to go ice skating, which he said could benefit the city.
“We hope it enhances the Armidale business community, hopefully they go off and have a shop and do other things while they’re here,” he said.