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City opens season for skating, shopping

Along with freezing temperatures, winter also brings a host of festive holiday activities to Providence.

The Bank of America City Center, Providence's downtown outdoor skating rink located next to Kennedy Plaza and Burnside Park, opened Nov. 21. The rink is open 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. on the weekends and closes at 10 p.m. daily. 

Admission is $6, with skate rentals available for an additional $4. "College Night" begins at 6 p.m. every Wednesday, when skaters can show student IDs to pay half-price for admission. Half-priced admission is also available 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, along with $3 skate rentals.

The city will hold its annual tree-lighting ceremony on the steps of City Hall Dec. 1, from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The tree-lighting will also feature performances by the 18 Wheelers, the Wheeler School's choral performance group, and the RPM Voices of Rhode Island, a group that sings choral music inspired by African-American perspectives.  The Brown University Skating Band will make an appearance and Skate for Joy, a statewide organization that aims to engage urban youth in the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills program, will hold a figure skating demonstration along with local, regional and international figure skaters.

The city also recently launched its Buy Providence and Buy Art campaigns to encourage customers to frequent local businesses. As part of the initiative,the city will offer two hours of free parking in local commercial districts daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.




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