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SteelStacks ice skating rink's 2nd season coming to a close

steelstacks ice skating
Ryan Gaylor
Skaters take to the ice during the last Sunday of skating at SteelStacks for the 2023-24 winter season.

CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect that Monday, Jan. 15, is the last day for skating this season.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The SteelStacks ice skating rink’s second season will come to a close Monday, capping off another year as a loss for sponsor ArtsQuest.

For the rink's final Sunday of this winter, ArtsQuest organized a Mario theme day, where skaters could play minigames from the Super Mario video game series on the large screen next to Levitt Pavilion.

Folks came out despite the brisk and windy weather.

“I definitely had a good time here,” said Bethlehem resident Jeremiah Nunez after a skating session Sunday. “It was a calm, fun group of people.”

steelstacks ice skating mario
Ryan Gaylor
Skaters had the opportunity to play minigames from the Super Mario series from the skating rink at SteelStacks Sunday.

“It was really good,” said Malia Brunstetter, laughing. “But the weather, the winds – I could not skate when the wind was facing you, it was so hard.”

Both said they would come back again.

ArtsQuest Senior Director of Programming Ryan Hill said more than 10,000 skaters took to the nonprofit’s rink near the former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces in the 2023-24 season — about as many as its inaugural 2022-23 season.

And like last year, ArtsQuest will finish the winter losing money on the skating rink.

“Yes, it will come in at a loss, but It's a big improvement from last year,” Hill said. “We pretty much expected that most rinks take about three to four years to turn a profit… We kind of understood that we’d be building this up.”

steelstacks skating rink wide
Ryan Gaylor
The skating rink at SteelStacks seen from the Hoover-Mason Trestle Sunday afternoon.

Hill said ArtsQuest plans to re-evaluate the ice rink for next year, like any other program.

“The hope is that we can, you know, we will do it for a third year. And we'll just try to make sure that we're looking at every different angle to see what we could do to make it the best it can be,” he said.

ArtsQuest first conceived of the skating rink as a complement to Christkindlmarkt, said Hill, to create a more “cohesive holiday celebration,” using more of the SteelStacks campus.

Its second season saw some new theme nights, centered around pop stars like Beyonce and Taylor Swift, or children's media characters like Bluey.

The skating rink also stayed open an additional two weeks in January this year, compared to closing after New Year’s Day in 2023.

Monday is the last day to skate, with sessions scheduled throughout the day. You can check out the schedule and get tickets here.