On Saturday, Nov. 17, VB Ice will make its debut as Virginia Beach's first outdoor skating rink. The 100-by-45-foot rink, located at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, makes for a cheery addition to the market’s Christmas happenings.
Preparing the rink for its grand opening is entertainment expert, Joel Cadwell.
Cadwell is a Coastal Virginia native who, for decades, has helped produce the region’s most iconic festivals and events such as the Pungo Strawberry Festival, Mount Trashmore Summer Carnival, Chincoteague Pony Swim as well as the Suffolk Peanut Festival, for which Cadwell served as the immediate past chairman and currently sits on the board of directors.
Cadwell is also the owner of Boardwalk Attractions and co-founder of the Cadwell family business, National Event Management.
VB Ice is the Cadwell family’s newest venture and is one they hope will bring great joy to Virginia Beach residents and visitors alike. “Our location for the rink is ideal,” says Cadwell. “Not only is the Farmers Market recognized, but it’s also on one of the busiest corners in the city and also within short distance is a 20,000-seat amphitheater, a field house, Sportsplex, the Princess Anne Municipal Center and of course, all the retail across the street [at Landstown Commons]. It just makes sense to Christmas shop and then come over here to skate.”
Cadwell contributes much of the rink’s success to the support of the City of Virginia Beach. Cadwell worked closely with David Trimmer, agriculture director for Virginia Beach, to arrange for the city’s first public outdoor rink.
Also partnering with VB Ice is the Houston-based Ice Rink Events. Cadwell’s son currently works for the self-proclaimed Kings of Frozen Water, so the connection seemed destined. “For me here in Virginia Beach, it was a natural partnership with Ice Rink Events. I knew where I could go to get a really good product and management team,” Cadwell says.
The ice rink will supplement the market’s three Christmas tree vendors, craft stations, holiday-themed breakfasts at the Princess Anne County Grille and weekend food truck rodeos. Cadwell’s vision for the marriage of rink and market is akin to the former Coleman’s Nursery in Portsmouth.
As a child, Cadwell spent many Christmases at the nursery’s annual Winter Wonderland. Its merry combination of music, holiday fun, animatronics and decorations is something Cadwell hopes to bring to Virginia Beach.
Also at the rink will be a host of special events like date nights, guest DJs and charity-driven skates. Sugary winter fare like hot chocolate, funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos and hot cider will also be available at the ice rink’s concession stand.
VB Ice is located at 3640 Dam Neck Rd., Virginia Beach. VB Ice admission is $15 per person, including skate rental. Discounts are available for guests who bring their own skates or present a valid military ID. The rink will be open select days and hours from Nov. 17 to Jan. 6. Visit VBIce.com for details.