Falls and fun at eco-friendly 'ice' rink in Mexico

  • Monday 23, December 2019 10:43 AM
  • Falls and fun at eco-friendly 'ice' rink in Mexico
Sharjah24 – AFP: Mexico is better known for cactus-dotted deserts and Caribbean beaches than winter sports, but the capital's central square is celebrating winter with an enormous, eco-friendly artificial ice rink.
The thermometer reads a relatively balmy 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit), but the Zocalo, as Mexico City's main plaza is known, is full of revelers skating -- generally with more eagerness than aptitude -- across a sprawling sheet of specialized plastic.

Open until January 6, the rink is the largest of its kind in the world, at 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet), according to organisers.

It is made of high-density polymer, whose chemical characteristics make it almost indistinguishable from ice.

In 2007, when the city first began setting up a winter rink in the Zocalo, it used real ice, keeping it frozen with enormous refrigeration machines.

But the new surface has enabled the popular holiday attraction to go green.

The sprawling white surface stands out against the gray stone of the soaring colonial buildings that surround the Zocalo, once the heart of the Aztec empire, today decorated with brightly lit holiday ornaments.

Organisers expect around 10,000 people a day at the rink, which is free of charge and can hold up to 1,200 at a time. They have 3,000 pairs of skates to lend to those who do not bring their own.