A Winter Wonderland, A Downtown Spring

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last Friday, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by students from San Pedro Elementary and some phenomenal figure skating champions, I helped kick off the 12th Annual LA Downtown on Ice. Through the holidays, Pershing Square will be transformed into Southern California's largest outdoor ice-skating rink.

Our answer to Rockefeller Center lets locals and tourists enjoy the renewed urban landscape of downtown while taking a yuletide glide in true LA fashion -- under sunny skies and without a jacket.

Downtown on Ice is now open and will be here till January 18. Skates cost just $2 and trips on the ice are just $6. And if you take one of the many public transportation options to get there (like the new gold line!), rides are just a buck. Also, Pershing's underground parking is discounted to skating patrons. But we'll be throwing numerous free community events such as the Winter Holiday Festival and a free concert series. Downtown on Ice is really a terrific example of private sponsors and the City working together to bolster civic pride and unite the community.

It's also a great symbol of Downtown LA's amazing renaissance. The skating rink will bring more than 500,000 visitors downtown over the next two months. These visitors will get to see the downtown I see everyday--a space where cosmopolitan crowds of all ages fill beautiful galleries, gleaming concert halls, and amazing restaurants both new and historic. Businesses are moving here again--in large part because of the opportunities the Clean Tech Corridor is offering green businesses to operate out of the anchor of the Arts District. This holiday season it may be winter at Pershing Square, but the rest of downtown is flourishing like spring.

For more information go to the Downtown on Ice website.