Just a little while and then it will be time for a winter scene in the city center of Assen. The construction of the ice rink on Koopmansplein is in full swing. And that is not without challenges, because of the high energy prices and obstacles in the city square such as trees, benches and fountains.

    A large car drives back and forth on the Koopmansplein. Construction workers are busy building a steel structure. With the floor ready, the ice rink is slowly taking shape. It will take another week before skating can be done again in the city center.

    While the organization had a lot of trouble over the past two years due to the corona measures, there are challenges again this year. For example, there are obstacles in the city square, such as trees, benches and fountains. The track is therefore built on a scaffolding. “It’s fitting and measuring, but it will work,” says organizer Steve Ellis of Winters Assen.

    That increase has a downside, because it allows wind to get under the track and cold air is lost. And that is not so cheap with the current energy prices. “The less wind blows on the ice, the less energy we need to keep the track cool,” Ellis explains. “But we also have to put it into perspective, because we do not use more energy than an average catering tent.”

    Various measures are intended to make the ice festival more energy-efficient. For example, the track runs on mains power and the tent is closed at night. A kind of skirt, part wood, part fabric, is mounted at the bottom of the tent to keep heat out.

    And the organization has even more sustainable plans for the future. The heat required to cool the orbit is now lost. “In order not to waste heat, we want to see if we can heat the adjacent café with that air next year together with the Techhub and Drenthe College,” says Ellis.

    Until January 8, skating is possible on weekdays from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm, on weekends and during the Christmas holidays the rink opens from 9 am. School skating and a curling competition are also on the program again.