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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:11 am | Fair 61º


Ice in Paradise Celebrates Holidays With Skating Show Featuring Gracie Gold

Local skaters join world-class visitors in crowd-pleasing performance sponsored by Cottage Children’s Medical Center


[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

World-class ice skaters and local talent dazzled a packed audience to celebrated the one-year anniversary of Ice in Paradise in Goleta at the second annual Celebrate the Holidays on Ice, presented by the Ice in Paradise Figure Skating Club.

The event was sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating and sponsored by Cottage Children’s Medical Center. It was produced by Alison DeLorenzo Juricek, Skating Club president, and Larry Bruyere, Ice in Paradise general manager.

“Ice in Paradise opened in October 2015, and last year we wanted to do something special for our skaters and the community for its first holiday show,” DeLorenzo Juricek said.

“Since we did not have that many local skaters at the time to do a full show I came up with the idea of bringing in champion figure skaters to skate side by side our local skaters to bring the community something special for its first holiday show. The show was a huge success with tickets selling out to both shows so we decided to do it again this year.”

Champion skaters on hand for the event included 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time U.S. national champion Gracie Gold, who performed “Assassin’s Tango” (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and “Best Mistake,” Big Bang Medley, before joining the entire case for a dynamic and fun-filled finale.

“It was a real treat and honor to see Gracie Gold perform two numbers,” DeLorenzo Juricek said. “Her ‘Assassin’s Tango’ number is her short program number she will skate to when she competes at this year’s U.S. National Championships in Kansas City, Mo., in January. This competition will be shown live on television and qualifies American skaters for the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, in March.”

Gold was joined by national-level skaters from the United States, Canada and Australia, including Karen Chen, Brendan Kerry, Vincent Zhou, Hannah Miller, Sean Rabbitt, Scott Dyer, Carly Gold, Haley Beavers, Layla Karnes and Jeffery Chen.

“As president of the Ice in Paradise Figure Skating Club, I am so pleased and happy we were able to join together champion figure skaters and local competitive skaters in addition to skaters from our skating school for the second year in a row,” DeLorenzo Juricek said.

“It is truly an honor to have champion figure skaters take the time and travel to be part of our show.”

The skaters carved up the ice for two sessions at noon and 5 p.m., when an after-show party was offered for a chance to meet and greet the champions.

Graice Gold with her sister Carly, who grew up skating together were delighted peform at the show. Click to view larger
Graice Gold with her sister Carly, who grew up skating together were delighted peform at the show. (Melissa Walker | Noohzawk photo)

Gracie Gold shared with Noozhawk what it means for the touring skaters to participate in the Ice in Paradise event, and similar performances across the country.

"We all love doing the holiday shows, and things like this, because it’s our fun time. We all love going to competition but we all love doing outings like this," Gold said. "Especially when they’re so local with kids that we’re going to know and see coming up through the ranks. And, we’re reminded that we were there – we were the little kids in the reindeer costume."

A talented and impressive group of young local skaters started the show with Anna Bazylewicz, Ashlyn Carter, Lauren Dalmatoff, Sebastiano Juricek, Valentina Juricek, Sage Kerst, Lauryn Lesovsky, Viana Pham, Livvy Severson, Lindsay Thomson and Amalie Wilson.

“Some numbers were holiday related and others were not,” DeLorenzo Juricek said. “In addition, some numbers were group numbers and others were solos. This combination kept the audience on the edge of their seats wondering what was going to be next.”

The action-packed slate included a wide range of songs and performances from “Winter Wonderland” to “A Wish to be a Christmas Tree,” “Candy Canes with Frosty the Snowman,” “On Golden Pond,” “Skaters Waltz,” “​Rockin’ on Top of the World” and “Rocky.”

Valentina Juricek, who performed “Rocky” with her brother Sebastiano Juricek, a member of the Ice in Paradise Mites travel hockey team. Click to view larger
Valentina Juricek, who performed “Rocky” with her brother Sebastiano Juricek, a member of the Ice in Paradise Mites travel hockey team. (Ice in Paradise Skating Club photo)

“As a figure skater who represents the Ice in Paradise Figure Skating Club, I always skate alone when I compete,” Valentina Juricek told Noozhawk.

“So it was nice to do something different and skate a duet with my brother for a change. We had a fun time rehearsing our number, ‘Rocky,’ and it was an amazing opportunity to skate with world-class skaters. I loved spending time with them and watching them perform their numbers in our holiday show at the rink where I train.”

In addition to skating, Ice in Paradise offers programs in ice hockey, from beginners of all ages learning the basics, to travel hockey and a high school program for young players. The facility currently has 24 adult hockey teams, and a girl’s hockey program, called the Monarchs, with more than 30 girls presently involved.

“As a member of the Ice in Paradise Mites Travel Hockey Team, I really liked being Rocky because he is famous,” Sebastiano Juricek shared with Noozhawk. “I also enjoyed the after-show party the rink had and being backstage with the champion skaters. It was fun hanging out with Brendan Kerry and Carly Gold’s boyfriend, David.”

Ice in Paradise offers educational field trips for grades K-8, with a curriculum-based, teacher-designed coloring book for each student, tote bag and free admission for the teacher, behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, 20-minute private skate lesson, ice skating and rentals for the low cost of $10 per person. Reservations can be made now through June. Call 805.879.1550 for more information. The rink also offers class parties, graduation nights and end-of-year parties.

Lessons from skating instructor Kristen Fuerst are also offered to families with the $45 Family SK8 Pac, including a half-hour of instruction for a maximum of five people, for great family fun.

Skating school is the starting place for many of our customers young and old alike,” Bruyere said. “It is also the launching pad that quite often propels a young skater into playing hockey or pursuing figure skating as a hobby and sometimes a way of life.”

A new semester of the popular eight week skating school also starts Jan. 17 or Jan. 21, offering weekly 30-minute group lessons and free practice sessions, a free public session and free skate rental for the first semester, for a cost $145.

And on the weekend of March 24, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will be visiting the Goleta facility to play an exhibition game, and to help launch a new sled hockey program for athletes with disabilities at Ice in Paradise.

Ice in Paradise is a 501c3 nonprofit, and benefits from donors in the form of Brick Sales in the donor park, where people can have their own engraved brick and forever be a part of Ice in Paradise.

“We would not have our first successful year already under our belt if not for the wonderful generosity of our benefactors,” Bruyere said. “We are very proud to be a popular family entertainment center for the Goleta Valley and beyond, and are very appreciative of the generosity we continue to receive from the Santa Barbara area.”

Click here for more information about Ice in Paradise. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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