Elk River Arena’s 20th Annual Ice Show

Sports Reporter

by Eric Oslund

Sports Reporter

The Elk River Arena put on its 20th Annual Ice Show on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20. Every year tends to work around a specific theme, but this one was a mixture of all the past shows that have been done.

Dorothy is joined by the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin man in the Wizard of Oz number. (Photo by Colette DesMarais)

There was Mary Poppins, the Cat in the Hat, Snow White, Peter Pan and Wendy, and the Wizard of Oz, just to name a few.

The show is performed by members of the Elk River Figure Skating Club, and the Learn to Skate program, and it’s always the event that everyone seems to look forward to the most.

“I just like spending time with everyone,” said Annie Givens, who performed in her 12th Ice Show. “You just do so much with everyone as a club together on the ice and off the ice. I just think just doing the numbers and doing something different than just your normal basic programs is really fun. Then to get to perform with other people versus just by yourself. That’s what I like.”

Annie Givens performs as the Cat in the Hat. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

As Givens mentioned, most of the members of the ERFSC spend the year working on their individual routines, and then perform those routines in competitions. They typically don’t get to see the other members of the club unless they practice during the same time and day.

That’s what makes these Ice Shows so special for every one involved. For about three weeks, they all come together to work on putting on the show, and while it is still stressful trying to learn all the different routines, it’s a nice break for all of them.

“These programs are a lot more fun, not so serious,” said Faith Benz, a member of the ERFSC who got to perform her first solo routine, as Mary Poppins, during the 20th Anniversary Ice Show. “They don’t have to be so perfect, you can kind of just be really weird in them and no body’s going to care.”

But it’s not just the ERFSC that is participating in the Ice Show, it’s also all the kids from the learn to skate program. The older girls love working with all the younger skaters because they are always so excited to perform what they have learned during the shows.

Faith Benzi performs her first solo routine as Mary Poppins. (Photo by Colette DesMarais)

Whether it was Givens performing as the Cat in the Hat with her Thing 1 and Thing 2, or Emma Palumbo skating as Snow White with all her dwarfs, the young kids just add another level of excitement to the show that’s hard to match.

“Probably my step out and then afterwards with all the dwarfs,” Palumbo recalled as memorable moments of the show. “They like to talk to you and stuff.”

Hannah Toven helped bring fun to the rink as Thing Two. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

“I was the cat in the hat, so that was a super fun number, and I had my Thing 1 and Thing 2,” Givens echoed as an appreciation of getting to perform with the younger skaters. “They were both little girls, and were really cute and fun to talk to.”

And of course there is one part of each show that everyone seems to hold in high regards, the father-daughter skate.

Moms always seem to be more involved in the Learn to Skate program, or the ERFSC, so this is always a time for the dads to get their time in with their daughters as well. Even the ones who may not be the best at skating.

“So your dad skates with you and they learn the number,” Julia Pobuda explained after getting to skate with her dad during the show for the first time. “It’s just, a lot of these dads come and skate with their daughters. It’s cool.”

Emma Palumbo performed as Snow White, and had the opportunity to work with multiple dwarfs. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Even though preparing for these shows takes a lot of time, and can be very stressful getting all the routines and changes down, it’s always the time of year these girls look forward to the most. And, after another successful outing, you can be sure everyone involved is already counting down until they get to work with one another again – in the 21st Annual Ice Show.

For more information about the ERFSC or Learn to Skate program, check out their website: elkriverfsc.com