Ice Chalet Hosts Final Event of Season

Hannah Bartman

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Students are invited to take a step out of the April showers and onto the ice at the final Ice Chalet event at the YWCA. The Ice Chalet, the only public ice skating rink in Walla Walla, will close for the year at the end of April.

The event, which goes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on April 13, will feature live music from local acoustic artist Quinell.

“We planned to have live music earlier this year, and there’s not a whole of live music for people who are not of drinking age in Walla Walla,” said Rink Manager Jodi Alden. “We can offer this event for anyone.”

Quinell Oucharek graduated from Walla Walla University in 2011 but has been a Tri-Cities local since age 12. Oucharek grew up playing ice hockey and has used the YWCA ice rink for practices for the WWU ice hockey team.

“The only other time I am at ice hockey rinks is when I am playing hockey, because I’ve been playing hockey since I was three years old,” he said. “Going to a rink and playing music instead of hockey will be interesting.”

Similarly, Alden was familiar with Oucharek through his involvement in ice hockey and was surprised when she made the connection that he was returning to the rink for music.

“It’s fortuitous that he has a local fan base. He’s familiar with the rink, with us, and I am sure he was tickled to have the opportunity to help us out,” said Alden.

YWCA Intern and Walla Walla University student Cami Waring heard of Quinell through a Walla Walla University event, and she was ultimately the person responsible for inviting Quinell to perform at the Ice Chalet.

“Not only is he a great musician, he is a lifelong hockey player and has spent years playing at the Ice Chalet.  He’s the perfect fit for our event,” she said.

The Ice Chalet is open October through April on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for public skating and has held other Sunday night events, such as Hawaiian shirt night, in the past. Alden uses events such as these to encourage people to come skate who normally would not and to expand their revenue base.

“It’s difficult with all the electronics now––it’s hard to pull kids off the couch, since there’s too many other things for them to do now,” said Alden. “It’s a constant battle to keep boots coming in the door.”

The event asks for a $5 admission fee to be paid at the door. The YWCA is located at 213 South First Street.