Columbia County responds to Augusta On Ice name-change, relocation

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF)- The Augusta Common hosts several events each year, and soon, it will be the home of Augusta On Ice.

That event had been set for Evans Towne Center Park.

Excitement was high for Evans on Ice at Evans Towne Center Park.

The event was supposed to take over part of the park for 50 days, starting in November.

“We’ve had a wonderful partnership but for some reasons we felt it made sense to move it to the downtown area,” said Organizer Christine Boerner.

The partnership with Boerner and Columbia County included a walk through area where people could enjoy lights and if they wanted to skate or ride any of the attractions, they’d pay.

“At first, they wanted to sell Christmas trees but we didn’t think that would be fair to allow them government land to sell trees when there are many other vendors that were going to be selling them around the county,” said Cross.

In fact, Cross tells me he thought the plans were in effect until a recent phone call.

“They had said that we had changed a lot of the conditions of the contract and I said I’m not aware of those conditions, tell me. One of them was they thought they could sell alcohol every day of the event,” Cross.

Cross says county regulations wouldn’t allow that to happen.

He also says the Evans on Ice group made *new* plans to fence off most of the grounds at the park and charge $5 for patrons to enter the park, and $20 if they chose to skate or ride one of the rides.

That’s something cross says the county couldn’t agree to.

“In the initial agreement we had a 50/50 split when it came to the concession costs and they were going directly to the vendor, asking them to withhold a certain portion for them.”

Cross tells me he also didn’t know Evans on Ice was working with Richmond County during the same time and there aren’t any hard feelings.

Cross just wants to make sure that people who already bought tickets will get a refund before he voids the Columbia County contract.

I spoke with promoters and they also released a statement stating that ticketholders will get their money back now that they’ve signed on with Richmond County.

“We only had a few events on the calendar anyways so it’s not costing the taxpayers any money. So, it came up to 46,000 and they’re going to pay for clean-up,” said Augusta-Richmond County Commissioner Sean Frantom.

With that cost, Commissioner Frantom is expecting it to look a lot like christmas all winter long.

The promoter adds patrons should be able to get alcohol during the event and they’re currently working with the caterer they chose to use for the proper documents and certifications.

Augusta on Ice kicks off November 17 and lasts for 50 days.

You can read Columbia County’s press release about the move and name change HERE.

You can read Augusta On Ice’s response HERE.

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