Ford Center celebrates big milestone - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Ford Center celebrates big milestone

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Families enjoyed the first "open skate" at the Ford Center's 1st Birthday celebration. Families enjoyed the first "open skate" at the Ford Center's 1st Birthday celebration.

A huge birthday celebration in downtown Evansville Sunday afternoon, as the Ford Center celebrates its first birthday. 

The public was invited to take part in the ceremony complete with free popcorn, face painting, a scavenger hunt and of course, birthday cake.

Organizers say the event was designed to show off the arena to those who still haven't made it down to an event at the center.

The Icemen hung up their skates Sunday, so the community could lace up theirs.

"Well today is really just a celebration about being open a year, we've had half a million people come through the doors, but it's still surprising how many people haven't been here before," Ford Center Executive Director, Scott Schoenike said.

Home to local sporting events, Eric Amacher is no stranger to the arena. 

"We come down for the Icemen games and we also came down yesterday for the U of E game and then today because it's free, to get on the ice and its fun and I've got my two sons here as well," Amacher said.

Sunday gave Gavin a chance to break in his new skates.

"Today is just to skate on my new skates I got yesterday, and this is the first time ever having my own skates," he said.

David Steele was also celebrating a birthday on Sunday, his 47th, and says he sees so much value in having the arena in Evansville.  

"I think it's brought the community together at a central point. This is a big venue that a lot of other cities don't have, so I think everybody should take the opportunity to come down and have fun," Steele said.

No birthday celebration would be complete without cake. The arena showed off a small scale replica of the Ford Center itself.

The Ford Center has already started preparing for the Hadi Shrine Circus which starts on Thanksgiving Day.

For more information on the circus, visit the Shriner's website. 

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