Park Ridge skaters blast off into annual ice show



The Oakton Ice Arena is far from the final frontier, but it’ll do as the setting for a space-themed skating showcase this weekend.


“State Trek: 100 Years and Beyond” pays tribute to the Park Ridge Park District’s centennial anniversary with four performances featuring 65 acts and more than 250 skaters rounding the rink to popular music including “The Martian Hop,” the “Theme from Star Wars,” Madonna’s “Lucky Star” and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.”


Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, April 25; 1:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 26; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Oakton Ice Arena, 2800 W. Oakton St. in Park Ridge.


Director of Skating David Santee said the show’s concept initially centered around the sci-fi world of Star Wars and Star Trek “and ballooned from there,” incorporating the park district’s anniversary — and it’s future — into the theme.


Skaters will represent a wide range of ages and skill levels (the youngest skater this year is three; the most seasoned skaters are over 55). But perhaps the most unique performer to hit the ice in the 2014 show is Tazer, David Santee’s Golden Retriever.


“The dog is going to ‘skate’ to the ‘Jetsons’ theme song,” skating supervisor Ingrid Santee explained. “He’s going to come on the ice and do a few tricks on center stage and get off again.”


At least, that’s what the Santees hope will happen.


“When we practice, it works. But you never know,” Ingrid Santee admitted, with a laugh.


This year’s show will also feature special guest skater Rockne Brubaker, an American pair skater who is a two-time national champion and 2012 U.S. silver medalist. Brubaker will be doing two pieces per show, Ingrid Santee said.


The Oakton skaters will perform in groups or as soloists. The solo skaters have been practicing their technique since January.


“It’s a good, once-a-year outing,” Ingrid Santee said of the show which is now in its 45th year.


Past themes have included Las Vegas, the 1950s and 1960s diner scene, and rock ‘n roll hits.

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