FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Greater Fort Lauderdale rolled out the blue carpet to winter weary New Yorkers with a free ice skating party at The Rink at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday.

Celebrating the launch of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s new Hello Sunny marketing campaign, the event transformed the city’s famed ice rink into a tropical paradise for one day featuring bikini-clad ice dancers, easy breezy beach music, life-sized palm trees, beach umbrellas and ice blocks with frozen bikinis.

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“Greater Fort Lauderdale has gained an enviable and award-winning reputation for making a big splash in New York City every year with an innovative special event, and 2013 is no exception. We’re bringing warmth and sunshine to our number one visitor market at the height of winter as a reminder that there’s a welcoming place just a short hop away where you can shed your winter coats and dig your toes into our famed Blue Wave-certified beaches,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

(Source: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)

(Source: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)

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The “Beach on Wheels” was also onsite with live models wearing bathing suits and tossing beach balls inside the Greater Fort Lauderdale sand-filled beach mobile.

Street teams surrounded Rockefeller Center and gave away free sunglasses and a chance to win a Greater Fort Lauderdale beach getaway.

The New York City event was the first of three promotions staged by the Convention & Visitors Bureau to call attention to new marketing strategies, the launch of a new website and other tourism initiatives.

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Following Rockefeller Center, Goodbye Chilly, Hello Sunny will travel to London on Jan. 22 and Chicago Feb. 6.