Carmel’s outdoor ice rink, Christkindlmarkt on track to open Nov. 18

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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said construction is on schedule for the city’s ice skating rink and German holiday market that will open outside The Palladium Nov. 18.

This will be the first year for The Ice at Center Green and the Carmel Christkindlmarkt, and crews are working feverishly to turn the public green space into a winter destination.

“I think we can safely say that winter in Carmel, Indiana, will never be the same,” Brainard said.

Brainard spoke to the media Oct. 30 as the ice rink panels were being installed behind him. Wooden huts also were being pieced together. The ice rink cooler system was installed the week of Oct. 23.

“Families will enjoy skating under the stars throughout the winter into March, weather permitting,” he said.

The holiday decorations will be hung as the 36 huts are installed, expected to be complete no later than Nov. 10.

The kickoff event will feature the annual lighting of the city’s holiday tree and an appearance by Santa Claus.

Operations for the ice skating rink will be handled by Mike Aulby, owner of the Arctic Zone Iceplex rinks in Carmel and Westfield. The Carmel Redevelopment Commission will pay $61,918 annually for management fees and the year’s expenses are estimated at $87,924, according to a contract provided.

Brainard said the Carmel Christkindlmarkt will become known not only for its food and beverage offerings — such as meats, cheeses and Gluwein, which is a warm mulled wine — but also for its unique handcrafted goods that can be purchased for unique holiday gifts.

“A lot of these products at our market you won’t find anywhere else in America,” he said. “These were purchased at small German shops, often (made by) people working in the back of their homes. That’s the tradition in that part of the world and part of the uniqueness of this market.”

Brainard said lots of local businesses will be involved but they didn’t want to sacrifice authenticity.

“A lot of times they become local craft fairs, and we’ve insisted that ours be authentic,” he said.

Brainard admitted that the first year might not have everything but the market will continue to grow.

“We hope to expand the market and double the number of huts as the market grows,” he said.

 

COSTS

  • Construction — about $6 million for the rink and market.
  • Market’s anticipated expenses — $541,625 for the first year.
  • Market’s anticipated revenue — $737,504 for the first year.
  • City of Carmel grants — $420,000 for the market in the 2017 budget and $125,000 in the 2018 budget.
  • CEO’s salary — Maria Murphy will make $110,000 plus benefits to run the market, which lasts from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24. She will also have duties during the off-season.

HOURS

Skate Session Times

Sunday

  • 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • 2:30 to 4 p.m.
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday

  • 4 to 9 p.m.

Friday and Saturday

  • 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • 2:30 to 4 p.m.
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Christkindlmarkt Hours

  • Sunday — 1 to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Thursday — 4 to 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday — 1 to 10 p.m.

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