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Riverside's Unity Plaza Rings In New Year With 'Ice' Skating All Week

Jessica Palombo


It was 85 degrees on a December Monday in Jacksonville, but 10-year-old Kiera Daniels was ice skating, sort of, at Unity Plaza in Riverside.



She says she’s done it before, both on real ice and on this: a synthetic, ice-colored slab.

"It’s just really cool because sometimes when you fall, you start laughing because I laugh a lot when I fall,” Daniels said. “It’s just fun to kind of get some wind while you’re going.”

Jacksonville’s Unity Plaza is ringing in the new year with family activities the last week of December, including daily live music, food trucks and ice skating without the ice.

Stanford Taylor was volunteering at the skating booth Monday.


Jaiden Daniels and his sister Kiera Daniels strap on ice skates
Credit Jessica Palombo / WJCT News
Jaiden Daniels and his sister Kiera Daniels strap on ice skates at Unity Plaza in Jacksonville's Riverside, Monday.

“Just giving kids something to do through the holiday break,” he said. “You know make sure they’re engaged while they’re out of school.”

Nearby, a small child was lying on his back on the artificial ice slab waving his arms and legs against the surface.

“Multiple kids have been out here trying to make snow angels,” Taylor said, “and just having a blast out here enjoying the Florida heat but still having the thrills and the fun of being up North and enjoying the ice skating rink.”

Skating starts at 11 a.m. every day until New Year’s. Then on New Year’s Eve, the plaza on Riverside Avenue will host a fireworks-watching party.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.