Love was in the air at the launch of Lancaster On Ice when a city businessman proposed to his girlfriend on the ice rink in Dalton Square.
Stephen Gott, 46, of Slyne-with-Hest, got down on one knee in front of the Queen Victoria Stature and proposed to his girlfriend Leah Palmer, 39, who is from Heysham.
The couple had attended the VIP Launch Party of the ice rink in Dalton Square on December 22 prior to it opening to the general public on November 23.
Mr Gott, owner of SG Landscapses, was invited to the party by Banks Lyon Jewellers, where he bought the engagement ring, after discussions with store staff about finding an interesting way to pop the question.
After Stephen mentioned that Leah is an accomplished skater, service manager Catherine Anderton suggested the city centre ice rink could make a good venue and, as a rink sponsor, managed to arrange tickets for the couple to attend the launch party.
Getting down on one knee on the ice, Stephen proposed to Leah and there were cheers from the crowd when she said “yes”.
In its second year, Lancaster on Ice features an ice rink on the city’s historic Dalton Square which last year attracted more than 35,000 skaters, and an estimated 70,000 visitors to the city in total, with skaters coming from as far afield as Scotland and the Midlands.
This year, the attraction is upping the game with the addition of a 35-metre-high observation wheel, Christmas market, tipi bar and two smokeless fire pits for marshmallow toasting. The rink itself opened on November 23, and the big wheel is set to arrive on December 9 and open on December 12.
The VIP Launch party also featured an Ice Show featuring solo, duet and group performances by skaters aged 7-19 from Blackpool and Blackburn ice rinks.
The specially choreographed performance was produced by Nyki Blackburn, who is a former Hot Ice and Holiday on Ice performer.
Lancaster on Ice organiser Martin Horner said: “The surprise proposal got the Lancaster on Ice opening off to a magical start and we wish the couple a happy and prosperous future together.
“The Ice Show followed it up in style with a fabulous and colourful performance by a super-talented group of ice dancers which went down a storm with the guest spectators of family, friends and sponsors.
“After the show, guests gathered into a packed-out tipi refreshment bar area where they were served hot snacks and drinks. The atmosphere was incredible and it really felt like the first day of Christmas.
“The rink is now open throughout the Christmas period so we are hoping as many people as possible will come and join us for a winter wonderland skate, or just to soak up the festive atmosphere.”
For more information about Lancaster on Ice go to www.lancasteronice.co.uk.