It’s been a few decades since roller disco enjoyed its heyday, but New Horizon Mall (NHM) is bringing back the retro activity with its Holiday Skate Pop Up, Dec. 7 from noon to 4 p.m.

Marketing manager Alex Winn said the mall is partnering with Calgary Roller Skate and Alien Inline – two companies that offer skating lessons, programs and pop-up roller rinks – to organize the event.

“We have a 10,000-square-foot space located on the second level, by the food court,” she said. “We are transforming that into a pop-up roller skating rink with a disco ball, music and lights. It’s going to be fantastic.”

According to Winn, NHM wanted to bring an exciting indoor activity to the venue for families to participate in during the holiday season.

“We know Calgary Roller Skate has had great success hosting pop-up skating parties throughout the city, so we reached out to them,” she said. “Along with Alien Inline, we came together to put on this great event.”

Kathleen “Roxy” Janzen, owner of Nerd Roller Skates in Calgary, said pop-up roller rinks are a great way for people to get a taste of what the sport has to offer.

“Because we don’t have a roller rink in Calgary anymore, we’re utilizing pop-up events to do outreach and give people a place to try skating,” she said.

Janzen, who teaches roller-skating and played roller derby for nine years, said learning to skate provides many opportunities.

“You can skate outdoors, you can skate with your family, you can do tricks in the skate park, or get really aggressive and play roller derby,” she said. “Or, you can do more fun things, like roller dance.”

For those who do not have their own roller or inline skates, Winn said rentals will be available on-site for $10. She said skaters of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate.

Protective gear such as helmets, elbow pads and knee pads are not mandatory but recommended, according to Winn, and each participant must sign a waiver before they put their wheels on the concrete.

Janzen added a limited number of helmets and pads will be available to rent, on a first-come, first-served basis.

While the skate is free, Winn said NHM will be accepting donations for the Airdrie Food Bank throughout the afternoon. Calgary Roller Skate and Alien Inline will also be exchanging stickers for food bank donations.

“We look forward to having everybody join us,” Winn said. “It’s going to be incredibly fun and a great activity for everyone.”

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