Dec 5, 2022
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Nordstrom hosts holiday fete on ice in Central Park

Dec 5, 2022

Since opening its first New York City outpost in 2018, Nordstrom has been intent on becoming a Big Apple institution. Case in point last year at this time, John Legend tickled the ivories in an intimate performance at the store for several hundred guests. Topping that for 2022, Thursday night at its holiday party at Wollman Rink in Central Park, the Seattle-based retailer staked its claim with a bold-face, name-packed party and Broadway-worthy entertainment on ice to celebrate the festive season and celebrate a two-month takeover at Central Park's beloved skating rink.

Natasha Lyonne - Courtesy

The skating center's interior and open-air ringside seating area had been given a holiday apres-ski lodge vibe with cozy seating. Upon entry, guests such as Brooke Shields, Natasha Lyonne, Busy Phillips, Phoebe Robinson, Katie Holmes, and Dominique Jackson encountered a present-filled step-and-repeat with a 'Make Merry' slogan that marked the event and subsequent residency for Nordstrom at the skating center, which opened for the season in early October. A DJ mixed popular dance staples with Christmas tunes while other guests, such as Jessica Joffe, Lynn Yaeger, Fern Mallis, Sophie Elgort, Batsheva Hay, Elena Velez, Gigi Burris-Ohara Sintra Martins, Stuart Vevers, Eric Rutherford, and Dan Pelosi enjoyed seasonal hot drinks, often with a nip of booze, and wine as they contemplated taking to the ice themselves. Others partook in arcade-style games, such as hoping to catch some nice merchandise in the claw game.

Much to the delight of guests who did take to the ice, far more watched from the sidelines, leaving space for skaters to show off their skills. However impressive, they would ultimately be shown up most wonderfully with a holiday figure skating troupe. Led by Santa, the six-member dance group wowed guests with choreographed numbers set to Mariah Carey's 'All I want for Christmas' and Britney Spears' 'My Only Wish (This Year)'.

It was a brilliant way to highlight the retailer's participation in the first-of-its-kind collaboration that began on November 1, with the newly formed Wollman Rink partnership, a coalition of New Yorkers representing multiple sectors. Those organizations include Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Related Companies, Equinox, Ice Hockey in Harlem, Figure Skating in Harlem, Great Performances, Melba's Restaurant, YMCA of Greater New York, The Boys' Club of New York, and Green City Force. The rink was updated recently to include a new clubhouse, murals painted by artists across the five boroughs, and food by Melba's, a famous Harlem restaurant. 

The ice skating troupe - Courtesy

Previously the rink was operated by the Trump Organization. The city, however, decided to sever its contracts with the organization following the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

As part of its partnership, Nordstrom is sponsoring the Nordstrom After School Free Skates, which will distribute 500 free skates to children and families in the NYC Parks after-school programs, mainly from Title 1 schools. 

"Must-do activities during the holiday season in New York City include ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park and shopping at Nordstrom. Now, our two organizations have joined forces to create one-of-a-kind activations that will further excite locals and visitors alike to take part in the holiday spirit," said Stefanie Tomlin, general manager of Wollman Rink and vice president of Wollman Park Partners in a release.

"We're also proud to have a philanthropic and community-oriented partner in Nordstrom providing children from NYC Parks' after-school program the opportunity to visit Wollman Rink and experience the joy this time of year brings."

"There isn't anything more magical than New York City during the holidays," said Jamie Nordstrom, chief stores officer at Nordstrom, Inc.

Brooke Shields - Courtesy

"We love Central Park and have been long-time supporters in keeping their 21 playgrounds safe and well-maintained. We couldn't be more thrilled about our partnership with Wollman Rink and sponsoring this iconic and popular city tradition, especially having the opportunity to give back to the communities we serve through the free skate day program for NYC students. We're excited to join New Yorkers of all ages, and tourists alike, in helping make merry and creating festive family memories that will last a lifetime."

In addition, Wollman Rink's rinkside tent has been transformed into the Nordstrom Chill Lounge for the holidays. Visitors to Wollman Rink have the option to upgrade their rink admission by $40 for Nordstrom Chill Lounge access, which includes expedited rink entry, skate rental concierge service, cozy seating, free lockers and complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, tea and refreshments, photo opportunities with Nordstrom's in-store Santa on select days, as well as a complimentary sweet treat redemption at the Nordstrom NYC Flagship on 57th and Broadway. 

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