No ice skating, ice slide at Winter Wonderland this year

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:32:57 AM EST   Updated On: Sep 25 2013 06:36:34 PM EDT

A popular holiday event undergoes some changes: what will replace some of the popular features of St. Augustine's Winter Wonderland.


One of the big draws to St. Augustine's Winter Wonderland was the ice skating and the ice slide, but this year families won't enjoy either of them.

"They were definitely big ticket events, popular events, but it is pretty intensive for the physicality and our staff, so we're looking to change it up a little bit and do more performing arts," said Natacha McLeod, of the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division.

Tee and Faye Haithcock brought their granddaughters to last year's Winter Wonderland.

"Local people seem to come to that," Faye said. "The times we came there were quite a few people on the rink, but I don't think our girls will be but I think they would still like to come just to see the lights."

The new series of events called "A December to Remember" will continue to be held at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. It will still have lights, a giant Christmas tree, an elf village, visits with Santa, bounce houses and a train, but now instead of the ice skating and an ice slide, it will have live theater, dance shows, concerts and movies.

The Haithcocks say it's a family event not to be missed.

"They liked the little buildings out there where the elves and so forth are," Faye said. "Of course, it's beautiful out here. If people have not been here they should come, because all the lighting effects are really outstanding."

The attraction normally runs from mid-November to the first of January, but this year the series of free events will begin Nov. 29 and go through December.

"We'll have something most weekends, we'll have a few week days, we'll have it throughout," McLeod said.

Holiday concerts will also be offered at the amphitheatre's sister venue, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.


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