Celebrating 70 Years Of Ice Shows

July 21, 2020

Although he had practiced the move numerous times in practice, Ken Iles skated toward Snow White faster than he ever had.

 

“Adrenalin, the audience, I came to that bench at a greater speed than ever in practices,’’ Iles said.

 

He was supposed to gently swoop in on one knee and give Snow White a kiss. Instead, like a bowling ball, the 12-year-old crashed into the Dwarfs, scattering the little ones on skates like pins.

 

“Amy Wesseldine was Snow White,’’ Iles recalled of that first Clinton Figure Skating Club ice show. “It was in the first half of the show. Oh, those poor preschoolers.’’

 

Iles, who still lives in Clinton, came from a hockey family. Not surprising, as Clinton had a number of outdoor rinks in the 1940s and its first indoor rink in 1949 with the Clinton Arena. 

 

But Iles, who was 11 in 1949, gravitated to a new option on the ice. That year the Clinton Figure Skating Club formed, making it one of the oldest clubs still going in its 70th year.

 

Fantasy on Ice is the second-oldest ice show in the United States, starting with that Snow White show in 1950. From last September to mid-March, club skaters, parents and volunteers worked to create a show representing each decade of the club’s existence. 

 

Two weeks before Ice Show weekend, the shutdown for Covid-19 began and the show had to be canceled for the first time. While the Arena has remained closed, a monthly food donation challenge to help The Country Pantry has involved club members and others who use the facility.

 

Iles said not having a show cuts deep into the finances of the club. “The main reason is to raise money,’’ he said. “It’s already expensive to be in a skating club.’’

 

Iles remembers Ed Stanley, who was a huge hockey fan, thinking of ways…

 

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