Ice skating star Katie Stainsby has been signed up for a free perfomance on Preston’s new ice rink.
The temporary attraction, part of the city’s Christmas offering on the Flag Market, will be opened officially today.
Katie, who has starred in ITV’s Dancing on Ice, partnering celebrities Vanilla Ice and Gary Lucy, will take to the rink at 6pm on Thursday.
She will be joined by young pupils from the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Arena and Dance Studio, where she works as a figure skating coach and choreographer.
She said: “I’m taking eight of the students with me. They’re aged between seven and nine and they’ll all be flying around, keen to show the crowds what they can do.
“I’ll be pulling my boots on too, and if anyone from the public wants any tips, I’ll be able to help.”
She added: “It should be a really good event, good for community spirit, getting people in the festive mood, and if it encourages anyone to take up skating, that would be brilliant.”
The ice rink is only one part of the Lancashire Christmas Market. Other attractions include a mulled wine and hot chocolate bar, as well as a variety of entertainment.
Mark Whittle of Preston Business Improvement District, behind the scheme, said: “We’re very happy to be working with Preston City Council and S&D Leisure to ensure the city centre has a festive offer right across the Christmas period.
“We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to Preston and adding an additional dimension to their Christmas shopping experience”.
Preston Councillor Veronica Afrin said: “It is fantastic to have such a great Christmas offer on our doorstep.
“The Preston Christmas Festival looks to be better than ever, with a Lancashire Christmas Market, ice rink and festive bar at the centre.
“These are a brilliant enhancement to the ever-expanding array of shopping, eating and drinking options that the city centre already offers, providing all the more reason to choose Preston for your shopping and entertainment this Christmas.”
The opening of Preston’s Christmas market was delayed due to the strong winds which battered the North West this week.
The market and ice rink were due to open at 5.30pm on Thursday but because of the weather Preston City Council had to postpone the opening until 10am today.
Last weekend singer Alesha Dixon headlined Preston’s lights switch-on, alongside indie band Toploader, boyband 5th Story and Bailey McConnell, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014.
They were supported on the night by star of Star of Phoenix Nights, Archie Kelly and the cast of the Guildhall’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty.