A POPULAR synthetic ice rink is returning to Brewery Square in Dorchester this weekend.

The Skating in the Square Rink will be officially opened from 6.30pm tomorrow and organisers are hoping to build on last year’s success, when more than 5,000 people donned blades to skate on the rink.

To coincide with the opening, the Anonymous Travelling Market will also be setting up in the square and there will also be more free entertainment from fire performers and live music from 5.30pm.

Tamzin Hyde, from Skating in the Square, said they were excited about returning to Dorchester after receiving lots of positive feedback, but said there had been concerns about the synthetic rink.

She said: “Because Brewery Square is quite a small, enclosed venue it’s just not possible to have a real ice rink there. We’d need lots of extra room for the generators and compressors and so on required to keep a real ice rink up and running.

“All that extra electricity would be expensive too – so tickets would cost much more.

“For the space that we have, a synthetic rink is really the only option but we think it’s a better option in many ways. Many ice rink companies around the UK have switched to synthetic rinks because of the weather.

“Due to milder winters, it’s very difficult, expensive and environmentally unfriendly to keep the rink frozen.”

The rink was beset by bad weather last winter and was forced to close on a number of occasions due to flooding and high winds.

Ms Hyde said the rink would remain open in all weathers unless the conditions were ‘dreadful’ and that skates would be sharpened after each session to ensure everyone had a good experience on the ice.

She added: “We hope local people continue to support Skating in the Square, as it helps bring a really Christmassy atmosphere to the town.”

It will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4.30pm and all day Saturdays and Sundays, until the school holidays when it will be open every day apart from Christmas Day and New Years Day. For more, see brewerysquare.com or skatinginthesquare.co.uk