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The Green Bay Packers opened Ariens Hill for sledding on Dec. 21 Wochit

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ASHWAUBENON – Ariens Hill in the Green Bay Packers' Titletown District was designed to provide a thrilling tubing ride for 13-year-olds.

Four-year-olds are pretty fond of it, too. Olive Oleson was one of the first to go down the 46-foot high hill when it opened to the public on Thursday. She was immediately ready to go again.

"This is fun and exciting to be part of," said Meghan Oleson, Olive's mom and a Green Bay native who now lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. "It's awesome to be able to bring my kids. I don't think we'd be sitting through a whole Lambeau Field game. This lets them experience some of it."

For the Olesons, that experience would include the skating rink, next to Ariens Hill, that opened Nov. 30. 

"She's wondering when she can get the ice skates on," Oleson said while holding Olive after the tubing run.

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The sledding portion of Ariens Hill is 100 yards from start to finish. An automated return carries tubes to the top of the hill. Tubes are supplied by the Packers and are included with the price of the ride. Tickets can be purchased in the kiosk adjacent to 46 Below cafe, which is under the hill.

Grand-opening prices will be $3 per ride with no limit on the number of tickets than can be purchased. Standard pricing will be implemented at a later date.

Heather Nesler of Paduch, Kentucky, who was in town with her family, was an impulse visitor Thursday.

"We saw (Titletown District) yesterday when we were driving by, so we Googled it," she said. "It is fun."

Tycen Beyer, 7, of Sherwood said the best part was when his tube hit a chunk of snow on the way down.

"I spun a little," he said.

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Sponsorship of the hill is by Ariens Co. of Brillion. President & CEO Dan Ariens is a member of the Packers' executive committee. He said the hill is the first major sponsorship in the company's 85-year history.

"We are going to bring a lot of people into the community all winter," he said Thursday. 

Originally, the Packers had planned a rock climbing wall on an island in the middle of the skating pond, but focus groups in 2015 said they wanted the district's public area to offer things for families to do outdoors in winter. Ann Patteson, a parent and chairman of the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District, suggested a sledding hill with a warming hut so parents could watch their kids.

Ariens Hill turned out to be a little grander than she imagined, she said.

The structure, which includes 46 Below cafe, an ice-skate rental area and a second-floor event space, grew from a suggestion by Ed Policy, Packers vice president and general counsel, who spearheads district development. He asked architects to look at Lincoln Center in New York, which included a building with a slanted green roof that his kids played on when he lived there.

"It was a relatively flat plaza," Policy said of initial plans in 2016. "(The rock structure) was interesting, but it didn't do anything."

In addition to skating and tubing, Titletown District will offer its Winter Jubilee Light Show. The seven-minute show will take place every half four from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 27-30.

It includes holiday-themed lights, music animation, lasers and fireworks. The show will not be available Friday or Saturday because of the home game against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night.

Titletown District is a nearly 45-acre development bounded primarily by South Ridge Road, Lombardi Avenue, Brookwood Drive and Marlee Lane. Its anchors include Lodge Kohler hotel, Hinterland Brewery and Bellin Health Sports Medicine and Orthopedics clinic, all of which are open. The Packers and Microsoft announced plans for TitletownTech, a technology and innovation center, expected to open in fall 2018.

Snow shovelers needed Friday

Speaking of snow, the Packers are calling for snow shovelers again on Friday to clear the Lambeau Field bowl. Volunteers 18 and older can report at 11 a.m. at Mills Fleet Farm Gate. Up to 500 will be needed. Pay is $10 an hour and shovels will be provided by the Packers.

Snowfall is anticipated Thursday night and Friday morning. The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings in a nationally televised game on NBC at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 

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