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Skate to live music in T-Town

Polar Plaza opens Friday, offers concerts every Saturday into the new year

Skate to live music every Saturday night at Polar Plaza starting Nov. 21. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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Now in its fifth year, Polar Plaza is known for its open-air skating rink in downtown Tacoma; but this icy arena is so much more than a place to don your mittens and take a spill on the ice. Polar Plaza is also a sweet, little concert venue. That's right - you can grab your parka, skate to your heart's content, and listen to some tunes. Everything from classic rock to country to holiday jams will ensure you rock around the rink.

Polar Plaza has bands on stage every Saturday night from Nov. 21 straight through to Jan. 9. Bands play from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the concerts are free with the cost of admission.

Each concert brings a unique feel to the rink. The Saturday before Christmas, get your jingle bells on (not really ... no one wants to hear your jingle bells) and head to Polar Plaza for some good old fashioned holiday music. Randy Litch and special guest, Allison Swarner, will take to the stage with the intent to bring holiday cheer to all.

"We'll be playing Christmas music such as ‘Holly Jolly Christmas' (Burl Ives version) and ‘La Bamba' (Ritchie Valens version). Lots of upbeat, energetic and fun music I think the skaters will enjoy skating to," said Randy Litch. "Allison Swarner will be singing and playing rhythm guitar along with me. Allison has a beautiful singing voice and is very pleasant to listen to. She'll be singing Christmas favorites such as ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'"

Litch has never played for ice skaters before, but looks forward to playing in a new environment. Likewise, another band new to the ice is The Pushrods, who play 1950s, 60s and 70s rock and roll. The Pushrods are headed up by Rod Hash, a Vietnam Marine veteran who now owns a jewelry store.

"The Pushrods have been around for about eight years. I personally have been doing music and participating in various bands for more than forty years. There are four of us - rhythm, bass, lead and drums - playing 50s to 70s rock and roll," said Hash. "It's always fun to play a new venue and we are looking forward to the evening. We think the crowd will enjoy our style of music and we may conjure a few happy memories."

Here's the complete lineup:

Polar Plaza Saturday Night Concerts 2015

NOVEMBER 21: The Pushrods - 1950s, 60s and 70s rock and roll headed up by guitarist and vocalist Rod Hash.

NOVEMBER 28: DoveLand - Country duo Doveland is Nikki Coleman on percussion and Craig Coleman on guitar, and both do vocals. The band is known for lively performances and getting audiences involved in the show.

DECEMBER 5: Dave Calhoun - There's no reason you can't mix a little bit of the tropics with a Jimmy Buffett tribute on ice.

DECEMBER 12: Lit End - Founded in 2010 in Lacey, Lit End brings a little bit of everything to the party - rock, country, funk ... the list goes on. Expect variety and you'll be fine.

DECEMBER 19: Randy Litch & Allison Swarner - Randy Litch is known for upbeat and energetic performances that range from Glenn Miller to Carlos Santana, but at Polar Plaza, he'll be playing holiday favorites.

DECEMBER 26: Entertainment Masters - If you're a karaoke fan, then nothing could compare to a night of skating and singing. You'll be able to take a break from the ice and belt out some tunes.

JANUARY 2: Kareem Kandi - Saxophonist Kareem Kandi will bring a night of jazz to the rink, and he's back by popular demand.

JANUARY 9: The Stunt Doubles - Kick off the New Year with a 90s Night. The Stunt Doubles will cover everything from Pearl Jam to Weezer to Britney Spears.

General admission is $8, military $7, 60+ $7, children 5 and younger $4. Come with a group of five or more people and you'll all get $1 off admission. Skate rental is an additional $2 per person. You can buy advance tickets at or any Metro Parks Tacoma Community Center, or at the rink once it's open.  Times vary.

Polar Plaza is located at Tollefson Plaza across from Tacoma Art Museum, which is at 1701 Pacific Ave. For more information, go to or call 253.305.1022.

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