HUNDREDS of people put on their skates to enjoy the opening of the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink.

The popular event has returned to Brighton for the ninth year and on Saturday, regulars and newcomers enjoyed gliding around the rink under the winter sun.

This year, it has ditched the traditional white and gone completely green.

It is powered by solar and wind energy and uses LEDs as part of a new lighting display which will shine on the Royal Pavilion at night.

Ten-year-old Joe Hall of Brighton, who was there with his parents and friends, said he can never get tired of the ice rink.

He added: “I think ice staking is really fun, although it’s quite easy to fall over. I have been to the ice rink many times. I came last year and will continue visiting.”

Freddie Hall, 13, said: “It looks terrifying at first, but once you practise you will get used to it.

“I first came here three years ago. When I began ice skating I was a little scared but I got the hang of it. I will definitely be back next year.”

The first ice rink in Brighton opened in 1897 in Middle Street. However, it was short-lived and it was converted into the Hippodrome variety theatre in 1901. Residents had to wait another 34 years to wear their ice skates again when the SS swimming pool in West Street was turned into an ice rink. The ice rink at the Pavilion first opened on November 13, 2011, and it continues to be popular with all ages.

This year, organisers ran a competition where 100 lucky winners had the chance to have a go before it opened.

Peter Rourke, 12, also from Brighton, said: “I had a lovely day and it’s good to be back.

“It’s kind of scary though, you have to get used to the balancing. Once you know what you’re doing, it’s super fun, as long as you don’t fall.

“I only fell over once and I will be back in two weeks.”

Sonny Parkin, ten, said: “I really like ice skating, I have been skating for two years. It’s really fun, I especially like to go fast and turning on corners and spraying ice.

“I’m not scared of falling over, I only fell over once while practising.”

Ten-year-old Rufus Partridge said: “I love skating on the corners and going really fast.

“I’ve been skating for about three years. My next door neighbours told me about the ice rink and I decided to have a go.

“I was terrified when I first learned to skate but now I am confident.”