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Clayton State goes ice skating - without the ice

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton State University's Campus Events Council didn't know what to expect Friday when it opened the doors of the Student Activity Center's ballroom to an iceless ice-skating rink.

It was a first for the university, and the council had no precedent upon which to base attendance expectations.

Would anyone show up?

The answer: yes.

"The turnout has been really good," Lakiesa Cantey, assistant director for campus life, said midway through the program. "We started around 4 p.m. and we've had large crowds throughout the night. So far, we've had about 200 people attend, and we still have three hours to go."

Shortly after Cantey spoke, a Campus Events Council member announced the iceless rink had reached its capacity of 60 people at a time.

An iceless ice rink is made of plastic panels covered with a synthetic, water-based lubricant, said Willie Northern, a technician with Spectacular Entertainment of Asheville, N.C., which staged the event. Temperature isn't a factor in its construction, he said.

The iceless ice rink was the final event in Clayton State's Welcome Back Week, but because the event was open to the public, several skaters were small children.

"We are part of the community, so why not invite the community to enjoy this with us?" said Cantey.

Amy Oswald, 21, of Molena, heard about the event from her mother, Sue, who is a student at Clayton State. The younger Oswald said she enjoyed the camaraderie of the event.

"Just the laughing and having a good time - that's why I'm enjoying this event," Amy Oswald said.