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Free 'Skate Day' at Hempfield park to promote skateboarding to kids, parents

| Thursday, May 15, 2014, 8:48 p.m.
Chase Ellis, 18, of Greensburg enjoys Peach Plaza Skate Park in Hempfield at Twin Lakes Park. “Skate Day” will be held there on May 24, with activities beginning at noon. In the event of rain, the event will be cancelled.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Ryan Butler of West Mifflin skates the bowl at Peach Plaza on Friday, May 9, 2014.

A free “Skate Day” is coming to Twin Lakes Park, where some of the best skateboarders in the region will demonstrate for kids and parents how to safely enjoy the sport in a proper setting.

The idea of the event — to begin at noon on May 24 — is to promote the sport, highlight safety and show that skateboarding can be fun and exciting.

The event is also a celebration of skate parks, according to Dave Kaule, a partner in Troika Skateboards and Commonwealth Press who will serve as master of ceremonies at “Skate Day” and join the demonstration team.

“Skate parks are starting to get big,” Kaule said. “We like to do all that we can to promote the skate parks. ... Skating is getting big — like football and baseball — and these skate parks are important. They keep people off the streets and off the roadways and it's great to see quite a few now in the area.”

Westmoreland County donated the use of Peach Plaza Skate and Action Park for “Skate Day.”

The $750,000, 65-acre skate park is named for the late Joyce Peach, the wife of project donor James Peach, a former Hempfield Area School District teacher who helped to dedicate the park on Sept. 20, 2012.

Kaule said skate parks at Boyce Park, near Murrysville, and South Park, near Bethel Park, are heavily used in Allegheny County. In part, skate parks in the United States grew out of city and town leaders' frustration with boarders hopping on park benches, metal rails and stairways to do airborne tricks that put themselves and others in danger.

“It's not legal in Greensburg — other then on your own property — to skateboard,” explained Andrew Craig, 18, of Greensburg. “That's why I like to come here” to Peach Plaza off Georges Station Road in Hempfield at the Twin Lakes expansion area.

Sean Stipp of Hempfield, a Tribune-Review photographer who is teaching his son, 7-year-old Isaac, to skateboard, got permission from the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation to hold the event. It will be canceled if it rains.

“We are hoping for great weather and a great turnout,” department spokeswoman Lauren Jones said.

“I think that we will do a short demonstration, then skate around with the participants, then do more demonstrations ,” Kaule said. “I think that this is a great way to bring skating to the public.”

DJ Hank D will provide music. Camp Three Clothing, Pipes Skate Park and Pro Shop and Underground Wheel Company will join Troika Skateboards and Commonwealth Press as sponsors.

“I think that it's a good idea to have an event like that,” Chase Ellis, 18, of Greensburg said in between skateboard runs at Peach Plaza. “It's a good idea for the community to know about skating.”

Ellis said that there is a certain stigma attached to skaters, and he hopes that the event will show parents that skating can be for everyone. “This will help to show that skaters aren't as bad as we are made out to be,” he said.

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