The bands rocked and the skaters rolled all day Saturday, as Lifland Skatepark hosted its first "Rock and Roll" fundraiser.
Six bands played from noon until dark, as skaters, bikers and bladers young and old showed their skills on the park's ramps, which opened last September in Elm Park across from Historic Bowman Field.
"It went great. We ended up raising close to $900," Lonnie Wilcox, skatepark president, said. "The combination of music and skateboarding seems to be a winning combination. It attracts maybe twice as many people as we get for skateboarding normally. This is the first time we've tried this. We hope to make it an annual thing, something the community can enjoy every year, and help get our recurring insurance cost paid for."
JOHN NEVILL JR./Sun-Gazette correspondent
A BMX biker takes to the air Saturday during Lifland Skatepark's fundraising concert and event.
Insurance costs at the park are around $2,500 per year. Raising funds to start work on the second phase, a "street" course, was also part of the occasion; all funds raised were by donation.
As long as they're supervised and wear a helmet, kids under 13 can skate at Lifland; there also were some oldheads showing off the fruits of experience on their boards.
"Most every day while the park's open we get kids as young as five or six, along with people as old as 45, 50 years old," Wilcox said. "The beauty of skateboarding, it seems like there is no real age limit. At this point some of the '70s pros are still going at it. Our older kids tend to look out for the younger kids, point out flaws and give them pointers and tips."
Though it's called a skatepark, BMX bikes, scooters and rollerblades all were in use at some point during the day.
Maintaining and improving the park so everyone can use it will be an ongoing process.
"The hard part's done, we got the park built, we certainly couldn't have got it done without Sally Butterfield's $40,000. We're hopefully eligible for a few grants coming up in the near future," Wilcox said. "We're working on the second phase, the street area. We're looking to start getting some businesses to possibly throw $100 toward a yard of concrete. Of course, we're willing to accept larger donations."
For more information or to donate, visit facebook.com/williamsportskatepark or email firstname.lastname@example.org.