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U.S. Figure Skating hosts Skate Fest at Skate America

U.S. champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have participated in Skate Fest in the past.
U.S. champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have participated in Skate Fest in the past. (Getty Images)

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(10/21/2008) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating will host the season's first Skate Fest, featuring special appearances from members of Team USA and other celebrity skaters, in conjunction with 2008 Skate America. Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon will also make a guest appearance. The event, which offers free skating and lessons to the public, will take place Saturday, Oct. 26, from 8-10 a.m. PT at Everett Events Center's Comcast Community Ice Rink.

Twelve Skate Fests have been held since the fall of 2004, giving skaters the chance to learn from U.S. Figure Skating stars in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. Previous Skate Fests have been held in Detroit, Houston, Chicago and New York, with five-time U.S. ice dancing champions and Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen and Olympic champion Sarah Hughes.

On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. PT, followed by an off-ice orientation. Skaters will be sorted by skating ability into four categories, from beginner to club level, and two sessions. The first session will begin at 8:15 a.m., and the second at 9:15 a.m. All lessons are free of charge, and rental skates will be available. Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Skate America, part of the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, is the premier international figure skating competition held in the United States each year. This Olympic-style event features approximately 60 elite skaters from 15 countries competing in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing.

Past champions include five-time world and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, 2002 Olympic pairs champions Jamie Salé and David Pelletier of Canada, 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi and 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton.