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October 11, 2017

November 1, 2017 — January 15, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (September 2017) – San Francisco’s favorite holiday tradition, The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines, is celebrating ten years of outdoor ice skating in the bustling and festive locale that is quintessential San Francisco. Featuring new events and holiday festivities, the anniversary season kicks-off on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. with a fun-filled opening day ceremony, followed by an all-day birthday celebration on Friday, November 3, 2017, where the community is invited to enjoy free ice skating*, a variety of performances, and special birthday treats! The milestone season features the return of favorite holiday traditions, including Drag Queens on Ice (December 7, 2017), Flashback Fridays (November 10, 2017; December 8, 2017; and January 12, 2018), and Polar Bear Skate (January 1, 2018), as well as a lineup up of new events and promotions for all ages. Hailed as one of the “Best Ice Skating Rinks in the U.S.,” by the “TODAY” show, the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square will remain open through the holiday season, closing on Monday, January 15, 2018.

To commemorate the anniversary and thank the community for its continued support, the ice rink will showcase a San Francisco-based nonprofit partner each week throughout the rink’s ten-week season. Additionally, a portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Along with celebrating its own milestone, the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square will celebrate any birthday that falls between Friday, November 3, 2017 and Monday, January 15, 2018. With valid proof (driver’s license, birth certificate or passport), guests will be able to redeem one free admission and skate rental on their birthday.

The ice rink will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., with the exception of closing at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017. Ticket prices for regular admission are $18 and $13 for children eight years old and under, with figure skate or hockey skate rental included in the cost of admission. Advance tickets go on sale Monday, October 23, 2017 at 10a.m. at Starting Wednesday, November 1, 2017 tickets will also be available at the ice rink ticket window in Union Square Park (333 Post Street in San Francisco). Group rates and private parties are also available at

Says President of Willy Bietak Productions, Willy Bietak, “What started as a fun attraction for the whole family, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines has evolved into one of the City’s go-to destinations for the holiday season. In ten years, more than 622,000 people have skated at this iconic location, we launched the wildly successful Drag Queens on Ice event, which has hosted more than 40 drag performers, and we’ve helped raise more than $1.1 million for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. As a way of saying thank you to this wonderful City that we call home, I am excited to welcome the community to come enjoy ice skating on November 3rd in honor of this milestone.”

After the successful launch last season, Kaiser Permanente is expanding the Learn to Skate program to every Saturday and Sunday at the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, giving more than 2,400 Bay Area residents with little to no skating experience the opportunity to learn. Professional skate instructors will teach beginner skaters of all ages from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. every weekend. Seeking to inspire residents to embrace the season while pursuing healthy activities, the lessons are free to those who sign up in advance.

The lineup of special events for the season are listed below. Additional events may be announced at a later date.

Ice Breaker Opening Celebration | Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | 9:30—10 a.m.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines will open with a special ceremony to “break the ice” and kick off the holiday ice skating season with a special performance of “A Whole New World,” by Bay Area native Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) and Isabelle McCalla (Jasmine) from Disney’s ALADDIN, which will play a 10-week run at The Orpheum Theatre from November 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018. The event will also feature other special guest appearances including Assembly Member David Chiu and more!

Ice Rink Birthday Celebration | Friday, November 3, 2017 | 10 a.m.—11:30 p.m.

To commemorate ten years of outdoor skating at the quintessential San Francisco location, Willy Bietak Productions invites residents and visitors of San Francisco to an all-day celebration featuring free ice skating, performances and birthday treats! Complimentary admission and skate rental will be available from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3. The celebration will include performances by some of San Francisco’s favorite arts organizations.

*Free skating slots subject to availability.

Arabian Nights: Disney’s ALADDIN theme skate | Every Wednesday | 6—7:30 p.m. and 8—9:30 p.m.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines is excited to announce “Arabian Nights”, Disney’s ALADDIN-themed skate sessions every Wednesday this holiday season. Guests will imagine themselves on a magic carpet ride as this unique new event will feature special purple rink lighting and music from the ALADDIN Original Broadway Cast Recording. ALADDIN is performing November 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018 at SHN’s Orpheum Theatre.

Learn to Skate presented by Kaiser Permanente | Every Saturday and Sunday | 8:30—9:30 a.m.

Kaiser Permanente invites skaters with little to no experience to the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines to come learn from professional skate instructors every weekend. Lessons are free (including skate rental) to those who sign up in advance.  Space is limited to 50 participants per day. Sign up at

Flashback Fridays presented by iHeart80s @ 103.7| Friday, November 10, 2017; Friday, December 8, 2017; Friday, January 12, 2018 | 6—7:30 p.m. and 8—9:30 p.m.

Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines celebrates a decade of outdoor ice skating by throwing it back to the musical hits of everyone’s favorite decade—the ‘80s—at “Flashback Fridays.” On the second Friday of each month, these special sessions feature iHeart80s @ 103.7 personalities on-hand spinning hits by Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Madonna, Lionel Richie, and more! Skaters are encouraged to don their favorite legwarmers and unitard, and come party at this totally tubular event! We pity the fool who doesn’t attend!

Drag Queens on Ice Presented by Alaska Airlines | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 8—9:30 p.m.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines is never more fabulous than during one of the City’s most popular events of the holiday season—Drag Queens on Ice. Watch some of San Francisco’s fiercest Bay Area drag queens lip-sync and skate the night away for the eighth consecutive year.

Silent Skate Party | Thursday, December 14, 2017 | 6—7:30 p.m. and 8—9:30 p.m.

The popular Silent Skate Party returns to the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines for one night only! A silent disco on ice, Silent Skate Party transports guests from the bustling Union Square to a skate dance party like no other. Headphones will be provided to all skaters, who then have the ability to choose one of three stations to skate to.

Polar Bear Skate: San Francisco Edition presented by SFGATE | Monday, January 1, 2018 | 2—3:30 p.m.

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines welcomes skaters of all ages to the return of San Francisco’s take on the popular Canadian tradition. In this version, ice skaters are encouraged to put on their bathing suit, grab their shades and “take the plunge” in the ice rink for this New Year’s Day Union Square tradition. All skaters are invited to ring in the New Year in their chicest, wildest, and most inventive beach attire in hopes of walking away with prizes, awarded on theme, originality and overall appearance.


Safeway, Alaska Airlines, Eventbrite, Kaiser Permanente, Macy’s, Union Square Business Improvement District, Disney’s ALADDIN, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Galleria Park Hotel, Hotel Rex, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, John’s Grill, NBC Bay Area, San Francisco Chronicle, SFGATE, BART, SFMTA, STAR 101.3, 98.1 The Breeze, 106.1 KMEL, iHeart80s @ 103.7, WiLD 94.9, KGO 810 and Telemundo 48

Social Media Links

Facebook /UnionSquareRink
Twitter              @UnionSquareRink
Instagram        @UnionSquareRink

Ice Skating B-Roll Video

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About the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines

Since 2007, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Alaska Airlines has delighted children and adults with a holiday-themed ice park located in San Francisco’s Union Square.  Ticket prices are $18 for regular admission and $13 for children eight years old and under. Figure skate or hockey skate rental are included in the cost of admission. Ice rink hours are from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily.  A portion of ticket proceeds benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.  For tickets or more information, please visit or call 415-781-2688.

About Willy Bietak Productions

Santa Monica-based Willy Bietak Productions is a full-service production company specializing in the development and production of high quality family entertainment. With a staff of award-winning designers, directors, choreographers and musical arrangers – backed by a talented production and management team – Willy Bietak Productions conceives, packages and tours international entertainment spectaculars as well as special events. For more information, please visit


For more information and additional holiday images, please contact:
Julie Richter | Charles Zukow Associates | moc.wokuzselrahc@reiluj | 415-296-0677

Keep up with the latest – and coolest – news straight from Union Square, San Francisco’s most magical and festive ice skating destination.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Julie Richter
Prismatic Communications

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