Harrison County

Chill out — it’s almost time for ice skating in South Mississippi

Temperatures outside still hover around 90 degrees, but South Mississippi soon will be “Frozen,” as a new Disney on Ice show comes to town and the Coast Coliseum opens for ice skating.

“Frozen” is based on the popular Disney movie. With Elsa and Olaf on the ice in Biloxi, tickets sales for this year’s Disney on Ice production already are tracking 40 percent ahead of last year, said Matt McDonnell, executive director of the Coast Coliseum & Convention Center.

The show is coming earlier than usual — Oct. 19-22 — instead of during the holidays. That means public skating also will begin earlier and run from Oct. 28 to Jan. 5, with 16 more sessions than last year.

The schedule also presents a colorful opportunity for Coast kids to have some fun on the ice between the end of “Frozen” and the start of public skating.

Art on Ice is something new and Lindsey Reyes, director of business development, said details are going out to schools across the six Coast counties. Students in grades 4-6 will be asked to submit drawings of what they’d like to paint on the ice and the public will vote for their favorite designs on social media.

“It’s only primary colors,” Reyes said, and students with the winning designs will be using a special paint that dries fast on the ice. Crews will ice over their creations so the kids’ designs can be seen in the rink throughout the skating season.

The cost of public skating again will be $12 for a 90-minute session, with three sessions most days. Since most people in South Mississippi don’t have their own skates, the price includes skates while the supply lasts, Reyes said, and group discounts are available.

New skates were purchased last year and McDonnell said they plan to add more this season.

Also new this year is Brunch with Santa, scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 16, complete with Christmas carols, pictures with Santa and skating.

Reyes said all ages come for public skating, especially when school is out. It’s the only public ice rink between Baton Rouge and Pensacola, so ice time also is offered to local pee wee and adult amateur hockey teams.

Upcoming events at Coast Coliseum

Sept. 24: Chefs of the Coast Food and Wine Gala

Oct. 14: Country singer Thomas Rhett

Oct. 19-22: Disney on Ice presents Frozen

Nov. 2: Christian rock band Casting Crowns

Nov. 22-26: Varekai — Cirque du Soleil

Dec. 9: Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour