Bob Bernier Photography
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In full transparency, the following press release & photo were submitted to SOURCE media for publication. (photo by Bob Bernier Photography)


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WORCESTER – As temperatures start to drop and the holiday season quickly approaches, The Oval Ice-Skating Rink, brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, is set to reopen for public skating on Friday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m.

The opening will take place during the city’s Festival of Lights holiday celebration and tree lighting. The Oval Ice-Skating Rink is located behind Worcester City Hall at 455 Main Street.

As part of a two-year sponsorship, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will now serve as presenting sponsor for the 12,000-square-foot rink, which is 4,000 square feet larger than the size of the rink at Rockefeller Center.

The Oval Ice-Skating Rink is complete with a number of amenities, including piped-in music, skate rentals, an assortment of concessions provided by The Dogfather, holiday lights and more, making it a fun and affordable family-friendly activity.

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Activating our public spaces to meet a wide range of interests is not only about providing recreation but about improving our residents’ physical and mental health,” said Acting City Manager Eric D. Batista. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has been instrumental in helping fund programs and initiatives that are grounded in the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable members of our community, like their investment in the Worcester Senior Center’s new fitness center. Thank you to all of the underwriters who make public ice skating on the Worcester Common possible and to ASM Global for their operational expertise.

“At Blue Cross, we’re dedicated to supporting and improving the mental and physical health of communities across the Commonwealth,” said Jeff Bellows, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and

Public Affairs at Blue Cross. “No matter the season, regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. We’re excited to help support this initiative to provide residents the opportunity to get outside and stay active during the winter months, which we know fosters improved physical and mental health outcomes.”

Programming for the season is underway and will include a number of activities for attendees of all ages, including: Skate with Santa on Sunday, December 11th, Chanukah On Ice on Sunday, December 18th, a Worcester Bravehearts Takeover on Tuesday, December 27th, a Worcester Red Sox Takeover on Friday, December 30th, a Worcester Railers HC Takeover on December 31st, a Public Free Skate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16th) courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, a Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) Takeover on Saturday, February 4th,  a Financial Fitness Takeover by DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union on Sunday, February 5th, and a Pre-Valentine’s Date Night Skate Day on February 11th.

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Additional activities will be posted on and the Oval’s Instagram/Facebook pages at @worcestercommonoval throughout the season.

Due to the generosity of sponsors and partners, local non-profits and community organizations will also have on-site presence throughout the season including the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, the Boy Scouts of America – Heart of New England Council, the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, the Worcester Animal Rescue League, the Worcester Community Action Council, the Worcester Public Library, Woo Fridges, the Worcester County Food Bank, and Veteran’s Inc.

Regular hours of operation will be Fridays 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Oval Ice-Skating Rink will be open for daytime skating during school vacation weeks in December and February, as well as on New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The rink will be closed Sunday, December 25.

Admission for skating is $5 and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Skate rentals and UMass Chan Little Helpers (learn to skate assist devices) will also be available for $5.

A limited number of free parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the garage located beneath City Hall.

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The operation of the rink is a private-public partnership that continues to garner widespread support, with sponsors and partners signing-on to assist with the financial and operational costs associated with the rink including presenting sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; premiere sponsors including: ASM Global, the City of Worcester, the College of the Holy Cross, DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union, and the Worcester Railers Hockey Club.

Additional sponsorship and promotional support graciously provided by: AC Marriott Hotel of Worcester, Baystate Savings Bank, Berkshire Bank, Castinetti Realty Group, Cornerstone Bank, Country Bank, Discover Central MA, the Dogfather, the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), Fallon Community Health Plan, Fidelity Bank, Franklin Realty Advisors, the Grid Hospitality Group, the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts, IC Credit Union, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS),  Mercantile Center, Point32Health – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, UMass Chan Medical School, UMass Memorial Health, the Worcester Bravehearts, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC), the Worcester Red Sox, and Worcester Regional Airport.

Bob Bernier Photography

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.