Press Release

Hughes sisters to headline Skatefest

Jan. 21 event to take place at Empire State Plaza ice rink

Olympian sisters Sarah Hughes and Emily Hughes will share some of their expertise.
Olympian sisters Sarah Hughes and Emily Hughes will share some of their expertise. (Courtesy of Sarah Hughes)


Press Releases
By New York State Office of General Services
(01/13/2012) - New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito Friday announced that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), in conjunction with their partnership with the Lake Placid Regional Winter Sports Committee, will host Skatefest on Jan. 21 at the Empire State Plaza skating rink as part of U.S. Figure Skating's National Skating Month.

2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes and 2006 Olympian Emily Hughes will join dozens of local ice skating instructors to provide free skating instruction at the Empire State Plaza ice rink. There will be classes for those who have never skated before and those who want to hone their existing skills. Free rental skates will be available for clinic participants and free hot chocolate is part of the afternoon's activities. Albany Devils mascot Devil Dawg and others will also be on hand to entertain the kids. Event sponsors include SEFCU, New York Air National Guard, East Greenbush Chiropractic and NYSUT.

"Learning to skate is something that can be done at nearly any age and enjoyed throughout life," Destito said. "I encourage everyone to come out to the rink and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn from world-class professionals."

"A proponent of tourism in Northern New York, the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority is proud to be partnering with the NYS Offices of General Services, the Lake Placid Regional Winter Sports Committee, NYSUT and SEFCU in this new and exciting collaboration," Ted Blazer, ORDA president and CEO, said. "Thanks to the dedication and efforts of the coaching and volunteer staff that has also gone into this project, we feel it will offer a fresh perspective into the world of winter sports and all it has to offer."

"We want to invite everybody to come and experience the fun of figure skating," Paula Wagener national vice chair of Showcase U.S. Figure Skating, said.


Please note: There are approximately 100 clinic spots available in each of the three time slots. Participants are strongly encouraged to pre-register at There will be no public skating between noon and 4:00 p.m., except for clinic participants.

11 am - Noon: Public skating

11:30 am: Clinic registration opens inside on the Empire State Plaza Concourse, near the entrance to the skate rental lounge

Noon - 12:30: Rink closed for cleaning

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.: Local figure skating exhibition

1:00 - 1:30 pm: First skating clinic

1:45 - 2:15 pm: Second skating clinic

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.: Third skating clinic

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.: Rink closed for cleaning

4:00 p.m.: Public skating resumes

National Skating Month, now in its 11th year, allows U.S. Figure Skating member clubs and basic skill programs to reach out to new members in their communities by offering the fundamentals of ice skating from professionally trained instructors. The goal of National Skating Month is to increase awareness and participation in the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program. Since its inception, the program has taught more than 2 million people to skate.