Celebrate Sacramento’s Iceland this Weekend
Friday and Saturday, there will be an opportunity to support the fire-devastated Iceland Skating Rink.
Antique Maison Privee, located at 2114 P St, will be hosting the event from 7-10 p.m. on Friday and it will feature light appetizers, wine, music and a video retrospective in addition to an art and a jewelry auction. Tickets cost $50 and are available on-line at icelandrestoration.com. Saturday from 5-10 p.m., the artwork of artist Wendy (Kerth) Nugent will be on display as part of Second Saturday.
On March 28, a five-alarm fire gutted the historic Sacramento landmark. It didn’t take long for the Kerth family, owners of the arena, to realize that they needed to rebuild. Not just to preserve a piece of Sacramento history, but to provide a home away from home for the local skating community. The nearest rinks are now in Stockton and Roseville, a far drive for the young ice skaters who would visit the rink daily.
Unfortunately, there was no fire insurance on the building, and the business had not turned a profit for many years. Rob Kerth called the last 30 years of operating Iceland a "labor of love."
In order to rebuild, the Kerths have drawn upon the love that the community has for them. About 250 volunteers have come to the rink over the last four months to help with the rebuilding effort.
They tore down burned structures, removed heavy beams and pushed rubble-filled wheelbarrows.
"The Kerth family has done so much for the community," said volunteer Andy Hernandez. The cleanup days were "our turn to give back for all they have done."
But soon the cleanup will end and the rebuilding will begin, and that will take professionals and capital.
The Kerths estimate that it will cost $1 million to restore Iceland to a fully operational year-round rink, but they said they are not deterred.
They are raising the money the same way they cleared away the debris – slowly and with the help of friends. There have been volunteers collecting money on Del Paso Boulevard, a benefit urban flea market courtesy of Schiff Estate Services, and an ice skating show in Stockton.
-Natalie Kuffel is a neighbor of the Kerth family and has previously written about the Iceland rebuilding effort for Inside the City.