Harris Pavilion ice skating in Old Town Manassas

Ice skaters take to the rink at Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas.

COVID-19 has canceled ice skating in Old Town Manassas this year, but the Harris Pavilion will be used for another reason – to provide outdoor dining space, City of Manassas officials announced Thursday.

Ice skating at the Harris Pavilion has been a seasonal highlight in Old Town Manassas for years. This year, however, the 25-person limit Gov. Ralph Northam imposed on both indoor and outdoor gatherings would make the operation unworkable, City of Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince said in a Thursday news release.

“Public safety is the main priority, but the limitation of how many people can be on the ice at any given time also makes opening the rink financially unfeasible,” Prince said.

In lieu of ice skating, the city has purchased several propone heaters that will be “placed strategically” within the pavilion to allow for expanded outdoor dining during the lunch and dinner hours.

“By doing this, we hope to support our restaurants by providing additional opportunities for outdoor dining and encourage our community to support city restaurants this winter,” the release added.

City officials and the skating rink’s managers, Rink Management, Inc., “look forward to returning ice skating to the Harris Pavilion next winter,” the release said.

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