CBJ announce All-Star Winter Park, 5K run

BY foxsports • December 9, 2014

On Tuesday the Blue Jackets announced plans for the Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star Winter Park, an enhancement to other official events surrounding the 2015 NHL All-Star Celebration in January.

Located at McFerson Commons across the street from Nationwide Arena, the park will feature an outdoor ice rink, massive three-lane snow slide down Nationwide Blvd. and serve as the hub for outdoor entertainment for people of all ages before and during All-Star Weekend, which is set for January 24-25.

"Our goal has been to make the 2015 NHL All-Star Celebration the best in league history and we're excited about adding a component that is not only unique to the event, but will also serve as a celebration of the season, our community and offer something fun for everyone," said Blue Jackets Executive Vice President of Business Operations Larry Hoepfner. "Our public officials, community and business leaders have all embraced this initiative and none of this would be possible without their enthusiastic support."

Developed in conjunction with Columbus-based Marketing Activations Group, the Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star Winter Park will be anchored by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Rink, an NHL-sized outdoor rink that will feature public skating, youth hockey, private events and various other programming. The rink will be equipped with bleacher seating for 500 people, a skate rental tent and four heated locker rooms. It will be open Friday, January 16 through Sunday, January 25. Admission to skate will be $5 and includes skate rental. A complete schedule of public sessions will be announced soon.

The Snow Slide presented by Huntington will stand 34-feet tall at its peak and span 85-feet with an additional 175-feet running along Nationwide Blvd. The three-lane slide, which will be positioned along the westbound lanes of Nationwide Blvd. between Marconi Blvd. and West St., will feature three separate access points of varying heights to allow people of all ages to participate. The Snow Slide will be open Thursday, January 22 through Sunday, January 25 at a cost of $2 per ride. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

To complement the ice attractions within the Winter Park, the Dispatch Media Group Hockey House will feature live music and food and beverage service including MillerCoors products, while the Kids Zone will be home to a host of family-friendly activities including the Blue Jackets Replica Locker Room presented by AEP. Both tents will be heated. There will also be a retail tent featuring an array of commemorative NHL All-Star merchandise including men's, ladies and youth apparel, hats, socks, gloves, scarves and a number of other novelties.

Near the entrance to Winter Park, visitors will notice outdoor fire pits where they can toast s'mores or just gather to enjoy the atmosphere. Closer to the ice rink, FOX Sports Ohio will also have a presence as the network hosts multiple live broadcasts from January 19-24.

During the evenings, those visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star Winter Park, attending the 2015 NHL Fan Fair fan festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center or taking in the events at Nationwide Arena will see Nationwide Blvd. illuminated like never before. The footprint for the NHL All-Star venues and attractions will be clearly defined as Huntington presents a spectacular lightscape that will drape the district with approximately 350,000 lights wrapped around trees and hung in canopies. The lightscape will run from January 15-25.

For information on All-Star Winter Park -- future announcements on hours of operation, public skating schedules, entertainment programming and more -- as well as details surrounding official NHL All-Star events and promotions, including the 2015 NHL Fan Fair™ and the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM, visit www.BlueJackets.com/AllStar.

The Blue Jackets also announced the NHL All-Star 5K Race presented by OhioHealth on January 24. The downtown road race offers local and visiting runners and walkers an active way to celebrate the NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus.

The NHL All-Star 5K Race will take place at 9 a.m. outside of Nationwide Arena. Participants will take a 3.1-mile tour of downtown Columbus and the Arena District before finishing back at Nationwide Arena. The event is limited to the first 4,000 runners and walkers.

Participants will receive an NHL All-Star 5K Race-themed Official Finisher's Medal, an NHL All-Star 5K Race-themed Long Sleeve Gender Specific Technical Race Shirt and discounted entry into NHL Fan Fair™ at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

After the race on Saturday morning, NHL All-Star 5K Race participants will be admitted to NHL Fan Fair at the Greater Columbus Convention Center for $12, a $4 savings from the $16 admission. NHL Fan Fair will be held January 23--25, 2015 and will offer hockey fans of all ages interactive games and attractions, special appearances, trophy and memorabilia displays, live TV and radio broadcasts, music, food and dozens of other activities.

"We are honored to work with the National Hockey League and the Blue Jackets to produce a 5K that celebrates the NHL All-Star Weekend, hockey and fitness," said David Babner, race director for M3S Sports. "Hosting the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus is a watershed moment in our city's history and we look forward extending the participation in the celebration through the NHL All-Star 5K Race."

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