Mark your calendars for Nov. 18 & Dec. 9!

Sep 19, 2023 | by LeeAnn Hastings, Mktg Spec.

Ashland Kroc Center to celebrate Ice-Skating Festival, ‘It’s a Wonderful Kroc Christmas’ events

ASHLAND, Ohio – There are still 97 days until Christmas, but the team at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is already bursting with holiday cheer. While many people often associate The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettles with the Christmas season, Majors Annalise and Billy Francis wanted to find a way to celebrate in a unique way that aligns with the Kroc Center’s purpose.

In keeping with the mission of The Salvation Army, and the wishes of benefactor Joan Kroc for the Kroc Center facilities to focus on recreation, education and the arts, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Ashland provides opportunities that bridge the gap between potential and opportunity for children and adults. Its programs and services are focused on a holistic approach to caring for individuals, strengthening families, and enriching the lives of seniors.

As such, the Majors Francis wanted a way that incorporated a focus on body, mind and spirit into the holidays, while encouraging family togetherness. “So many of my favorite holiday memories involved ice skating with family and friends,” says Major Annalise. “With the closest ice rink to Ashland being over 30 minutes away, and others even further, I was intrigued by the possibility of bringing an iceless ice rink here. Then, when I spoke with Awesome Entertainment & Party Rentals in Columbus and found out that they were willing to collaborate with us as a non-profit organization, I was ecstatic. What a blessing this will be for our community!”

The Ashland Kroc Center’s Iceless Ice-Skating Festival will open to the public on Saturday, November 18 through Saturday, December 30, 2023. The iceless ice rink will be open Monday through Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.  Tickets will be $12 for individuals who are not members of the Kroc Center, and ice skate rental is included. As part of their membership benefits, Kroc Center members will receive a discounted rate of $10.

In addition to the Ice-Skating Festival, The Salvation Army will also be celebrating the holidays with “It’s a Wonderful Kroc Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 9. The Christmas extravaganza will be held at the Kroc Center and includes a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for community members to enjoy from 3 to 6 pm.

Indoor activities will include:

  • Craft Show in the Kroc Center’s Gymnasium (opens at 2 p.m. for those just wanting to visit the craft fair)
  • Photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus by Maurer Photography
  • Kids Holiday Craft in the Multipurpose Room
  • Showing of a holiday movie in the Field House
  • Christmas Tree Silent Auction: Community Room

Outdoor activities will include:

  • Christmas Train rides
  • Ice Skating
  • Meet & Greet with Santa’s Reindeer, provided by Kleerview Farms of Bellview

Activities will be available on a ticket basis, or attendees may purchase an all-access pass.

Craft Show vendors are still being accepted. If a craft vendor is interested in participating, they may download a vendor application, or call (419) 281-8001.

“We are thrilled to bring ice-skating to our community so that families can possibly try something new, have a fun way to be active together, and get into the holiday spirit,” says Dan Lawson, PhD, Director of Community Relations and Development for the Ashland Kroc Center.

Dr. Lawson adds that he is grateful for the support of the Ashland community, as the events will also serve another important purpose. “All funds from the Ice-Skating Festival and It’s a Wonderful Kroc Christmas events will help support the social services at the Ashland Kroc Center, like the food, utility, emergency and holiday assistance programs,” Dr. Lawson explains.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the Ashland Kroc Center at (419) 281-8001.

For more information, please follow Ashland Kroc Center on Facebook or @AshlandKroc on Instagram.


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit and

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