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East Los Angeles on ICE a Big Hit With Residents

Children were falling left and right and giggling with delight as they tried to master the art of ice-skating during the inaugural “East LA on ICE” event held last Saturday. Some brave parents even ventured onto the specially created skating surface to help their children stay on their feet. The experience is likely to be one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Supervisor Gloria Molina and Dodger Adrian Gonzales (center) join children at the 3rd Annual Winter Wonderland. (EGP photo by Mario Villegas)

The event took place along side the 3rd annual Winter Wonderland event, which featured snow rides and the 11th Annual Toy Giveaway at the East LA Civic Center.

Dodger’s first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was on hand to help pass out toys, cut the ribbon to the specially built skating rink and sign autographs. A tree lighting ceremony with ABC television personality Alysha del Valle took place later in the afternoon.

The festivities, which included live musical entertainment and local restaurants selling food, were repeated on Sunday, but under wetter weather.

The East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored and co-presented East LA on ICE in conjunction with County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office.

According to East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce President Eddie Torres, his group’s members had pitched the idea of bringing an outdoor ice skating rink to East Los Angeles several years ago and were excited to see it finally come to fruition.

East LA on ICE is meant to be an addition to the holiday activities, not a substitution to anything, especially not the East L.A. Christmas Parade, Torres said referring comments published in EGP newspapers last week stating the parade is not happening again this year.

Yadira Cuevas, an East LA resident who attended the event with her mother-in-law and daughter, stood in a long line to get the chance to skate on the ice, a new experience on the eastside. Her daughter had never skated before but was excited, and a little worried, to try it for the first time.

Maria Casarez’s eight-year-old daughter Maria Carballo, on the other hand, already knows how to roller skate, so she wasn’t worried. Before last weekend, the ice skating rink closest to her neighborhood was at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.

A friend told Yesenia Baraja about the ice skating event and festival and while she no longer lives in the area, she decided it would be fun to take her son ice skating. She said the ice skating rink is definitely an attraction that has the potential to bring more people to East LA every holiday season.