It is no secret that the Long Beach youth love to skate. There are a few skate parks here and there, but on Satuday, July 23rd, Freedom to Ride; Skate Jam BBQ brought out some of the city's skate life to Bixby Park (which is nowhere near Bixby Knolls).
With a live DJ, Long Beach Skate, free hotdogs, and the summer sun in the LBC, how could this not be a fun event?
There was a "best trick" competition open throughout the five hour event along with a "high ollie," "most beat up board," and even a very intense game of dodge-ball. The small skate park had no less than fifty skaters rolling through at any given time and they made sure to take full advantage of the great weather and free food. The high ollie competition went all the way up to 36" which was a world record about ten years ago. This event was also the break out of our 562 City Life sticker!
"They should have more stuff like this, I'm out here on the daily but its dope to see how many people are out here doing their thing," said Marcus who only paused briefly to have a quick drink of water.
Many parents had their young children on the grind and inter weaving amongst skaters three times their size. When a little one would fall, a more experienced skater would help them up, give them a few words of encouragement and ride away. This vision reminds many that no matter how skaters are seen in the public eye, they support eachother. All of those at the event, reguardless of whether they were on a board or not, knew that this was a safe environment and everyone was just trying to have fun; this is the Long Beach that everyone needs to see. Hopefully there are many more events like this and maybe we might see more citylifers out there.
Where do you think some other good spots to have a skate event would be? Did you ever consider yourself a "skater?" Do you know other people who would have liked to know about this going on?
562CityLife is in part funded by a Long Beach Community Foundation Connected Corridor grant supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Transformation Initiative.