Valley resident is Santa in holiday ice show

by Sharlene Irete

sirete@recordcourier.com


The Holiday Ice Spectacular continues in the Eldorado Casino Showroom in Reno through Dec. 29. The show features ice skaters from all over the United States performing to traditional Christmas music, rock 'n' roll, country and a revved-up version of "The Nutcracker."

The Holiday Ice Spectacular is produced and directed by Jeb K. Rand, a former U.S. National figure skating competitor who has been featured in the Ice Capades, Disney on Ice and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City.

Derrik Wagner plays Santa Claus and helps maintain the ice surface in the Holiday Ice Spectacular. Wagner's traveled around the world with the ice show, but has called Carson Valley home since 1988.

"I was born and raised on hockey rinks in North Dakota and Minnesota," he said. "I love all things about ice skating and I love the beautiful Carson Valley.

The ice system service is provided the Yontz Corporation, whose president Don Yontz is owner of the Heavenly Village Ice Garden outdoor skating rink. Wagner has been employed by Yontz for four years.

"My job is to maintain and provide a safe ice surface for the skaters," Wagner said. "We want that show ice looking shiny like a mirror."

Wagner is Santa in the show and performs a comedy routine with David Steinberg, who plays Henry the elf. His elf wife is played by Alyssa Williams.

Steinberg performed in "Willow" and the recently released "Transylmania" horror spoof.

"The show has beautiful scenery, props and a snow machine," said Wagner. "There's fantastic comedy and it's a great show. Check it out."

If you want to go but can't afford it, contact Santa/Derrik Wagner at hockeyderrik@yahoo.com - he may have some Christmas magic for you.

Performances of the Holiday Ice Spectacular are 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with 3 p.m. shows on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices range from $20 for children to $30 for adults, with dinner show and package deals available. Information at www.eldoradoreno.com or (800) 879-8879.

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