Hundreds attended the second annual Christmas tree lighting at The Cube on Friday – an event started last year that celebrated the continuation of ice in Santa Clarita.
Two years ago, the formerly named Ice Station Valencia announced it would close its doors permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the help of Santa Clarita City Council’s approval of the city’s purchase of the ice rink, the newly renovated facility reopened with a different name, The Cube.
That year, The Cube hosted its inaugural tree lighting ceremony, which, according to event organizers, will now be an annual event that’s here to stay.
“As we were coming out of COVID it was one of the first events we had,” said Larry Bruyere, general manager of The Cube. “It brings a community out, and it kicks off our holiday season… It’s great to see everybody out on the ice, just seeing the people in the stands, a lot of new faces. You can’t do better than holiday music and the lights all combined to make a great event.”
In step with last year’s event, the lighting of the 20-foot tree was done in coordination with the L.A. Kings – with guest appearances by Kings commentator Nick Nickson, Kings’ mascot Bailey the Lion, and the Kings’ Ice Crew.
The flip of the switch to light the tree was done by Mayor Laurene Weste, who said the experience was like something out of a movie.
“I think that we have the world’s greatest community and I feel like I’m in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” said Weste. “Our communities come out and they’re sharing with their children traditions that will last forever and memories that will never go away.”
Following the tree lighting, there was a performance of an excerpt from “The Grinch’s Holiday” done by local figure skaters accompanied with live music provided by the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra – who stuck around to play holiday tunes throughout the event.
Nathan Hemminger, who was at the event with his two children Ethan and Hadley, said this was the first time they had ever seen live figure skating.
“We were unaware of [the event], so when we saw it we wanted to come hang out and support it,” said Hemminger. “I was telling both of them, this is the first time, in person, we got to see figure skating, it was pretty cool, and it was the first time they got to see it as well.”
Hemminger said Ethan and Hadley, both hockey players at The Cube, were also excited for the opportunity to skate the rink after the show and sled down the snow hill created next to the tree – sleds were provided if one was not brought.