ALAMEDA -- Alameda's Little Ice Rink is back just in time for the holidays.

The 3,000-square-foot rink opens at South Shore Center on Friday and will stay open seven days a week through Jan. 20.

The Perforce Software Foundation is providing financial support for the rink in cooperation with South Shore Center. (The foundation has raised $2.3 million for charities since its inception.)

"Alameda is home to the company, as well as to many of our 200 Alameda employees, and it's been my residence for 25 years," said Christopher Seiwald, CEO of Perforce Software. "We like to invest where we live."

The concept for an ice rink in town came up at the office a few years ago "as a bit of lark," Seiwald said. "When the lot at Park Street and Tilden opened up, it presented an opportunity to really do it."

That was in the winter of 2011-12. A year later, the rink moved to South Shore, where some 15,000 skaters hit the ice during the holiday season.

"We never imagined it would have such a positive impact," the executive said. "Last year, as I watched the skaters, a woman who lives alone in Alameda said she came down every day to watch the skaters and stay connected to the Island community. That's a great example of what the rink can do."

According to South Shore, the Little Ice Rink will schedule events with local dignitaries and skating celebrities on Friday nights. There will also be Stroller Skates at 2 p.m. each Tuesday, and the San Jose Sharks mascot Sharkie should stop by.


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South Shore owner Jamestown says it "takes pride in creating traditions that the whole family can enjoy, year after year," according to a statement from Jamestown COO Michael Phillips. "The rink, along with our Santa House and Winter Wonderland, will be the site of many community-focused activities this holiday season and memories for years to come."

Other rink sponsors include Executive Inn & Suites Embarcadero Cove and Bayside Inn Oakland.

"I like the real hometown feeling of Alameda," said Seiwald. "The ice rink only gives the Island more of that. It's just a fun vibe for everyone."

IF YOU GO
What: The Little Ice Rink
When: 3 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 12 to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, starting Friday and lasting through Jan. 20
Where: South Shore Center, 523 South Shore Center West, Alameda
Cost: $6 to $15
Information: www.thelittleicerink.com, 510-629-1423