Snowballs, ice-skating, Santa and the Grinch: Richmond steeped in holiday spirit

Snowballs, ice-skating, Santa and the Grinch: Richmond steeped in holiday spirit
Snow Day at Nicholl Park (All photos by Kathy Chouteau).

By Kathy Chouteau and Mike Aldax

As Santa and the Grinch spread holiday cheer at City Hall and the Main Library, about 200 children at the central park across the street made snowballs and snowmen and slid down a snow-covered slope in saucers.

Meanwhile across town, families skated in an outdoor ice rink, shared meals at restaurants decked out for the holidays or picked up espressos and hot chocolates at a well-lit local café.

Sounds like Christmas in a wintery mountain town, but this idyllic scene was right here in Richmond on Thursday.

Richmond-based All Seasons Ice Company partnered with the city to provide ice and snow for the 2nd Annual Snow Day at Nicholl Park on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Across the street at Richmond Civic Center, the Community Services Department sent around two people dressed as Santa and the Grinch to offices — and the Main Library, where they enjoyed pie — getting city employees in the holiday spirit.

The spirit was just as alive and well in the Iron Triangle neighborhood, where the local nonprofit Pogo Park hosted an ice rink at Elm Playlot at 720 Elm Ave. Over 400 people stopped by to enjoy the rink, said Pogo Park Executive Director Toody Maher.

“Everyone was saying things like, ‘this is Union Square in Richmond,’” said Maher, noting that the ice rink is open again today from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

One didn’t need to experience ice or snow to feel surrounded by the holiday spirit. In Point Richmond, the historic Hotel Mac was handsomely decorated for the occasion.

Nearby, Kaleidoscope Coffee also shined brightly with holiday festivity.

It may not be quite to the level of Branson, Missouri, but in our opinion, Richmond is in many ways a “Christmas Town.”