Zionsville plans to hold its first Winterfest later this year. The Zionsville Town Council approved a $145,000 additional appropriation to allow the town’s parks and recreation department to secure an ice rink.
In 2020, the parks and recreation department surveyed the community, asking residents what services they’d like to see in Zionsville. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they’d like to see more community events. As a result, the department began considering a monthlong winter event.
Winterfest is proposed for some time in December at Mulberry Fields. The event will include ice skating and other activities. Jarod Logsdon, the town’s superintendent of parks and recreation, said plans for the inaugural event are being finalized.
The council granted the department’s request for a $145,000 additional appropriation from the parks department’s non-reverting operating fund to cover expenses for the ice rink.
“We are essentially going to borrow those funds to cover the expenses for the ice rink,” Logsdon said. “As the revenue comes in from the event for the operation of the ice rink, we’ll put it back in that fund.”
The event is projected to raise between $123,000 to $259,000 in revenue, based on 50 percent capacity with two weather days and full capacity, respectively, Logsdon said. The projections assume a $14 skate rental fee, unlimited skating times during operating hours and a 125-person ice rink capacity, but Logsdon said he hopes the skate rental fee can be reduced so that the event is accessible to more people and families. The projections do not include possible sponsor revenue.
Logsdon said Ice-America, a company that specializes in portable ice rinks, would build and operate the rink and that parks and recreation department employees would likely assist with labor.
Logsdon said the event is estimated to cost $207,000. Should the event not bring in enough revenue to cover the cost, he said the parks department planned to absorb the shortfall through its operating fund.
Town officials hope to attract visitors from all of central Indiana.
“We did speak with Carmel, and they were actually overjoyed that we would approach this because they weren’t sure how they were going to deal with their numbers that they have amassed,” said Logsdon, alluding to Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt, which also has ice skating and winter-themed offerings.
If the event is successful, Logsdon said the town hopes to continue to host it in future years.