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Skateboarders Descending On City Saturday

June 20, 2008
By Robert Rizzuto
Skateboarders and spectators will take to the streets Saturday as and Suburban Blend present the first annual Block Rock & Session, in honor of ‘‘National Go Skateboarding Day.’’

‘‘This is the first ever downtown skateboard event, and there’s some talented people coming to participate,’’ said Pete Scheira, owner of Suburban Blend. ‘‘We have folks coming in from Cleveland, Buffalo, Erie, Dunkirk, and a lot of local skaters.’’

The event will feature three skating events, as well as a number of other attractions geared toward pleasing anyone downtown Saturday.

SK8 is the first skateboarding event, which consists of skaters doing tricks and trying to keep up with their competition. Scheira explained that it is similar to playing P-I-G or H-O-R-S-E with a basketball, but for skaters of course.

The High Ollie Contest challenges the skaters to see who can get the highest, while attempting to break the world’s record of 45 inches off the ground.

An open skateboard jam will follow with real street-skate obstacles being placed along Third Street, challenging the skaters’ skills in a true urban environment.

‘‘This is the biggest thing to happen for skating in the city of Jamestown since the beginning of the skate park, more than 10 years ago,’’ said John Centi, owner of the online magazine and sponsor Skateboard Revolution. ‘‘If everything goes as planned, we’d like to take the event to the national level in the future, and possibly hold a couple more before the summer ends.’’

Saturday’s skate competition will also serve as a local music showcase, as a DJ will rock the crowd from 9:30 to noon, followed by three of the area’s hottest bands.

The Audience, Hot Stenographer and Junkbutton will grace the streets with their sound from the Wood Park in Potters Terrace, as Liscandro’s Restaurant and Labyrinth Press Co. Cafe will be serving up their speciality foods and beverages.

Scheira and Centi are both young, Jamestown natives who have choose to reinvest in their community, sponsoring and organizing events such as the Block Rock & Session. They said that they are happy that the city has welcomed them, their businesses and their sport in the downtown area.

‘‘Everyone is starting to realize that skaters aren’t riff raff, but rather the same kids who play baseball and football,’’ Scheira said. ‘‘It’s a great independent sport where you can really push your self, and it can keep kids out of trouble.’’

Centi explained that the whole concept of the event was developed by Marc and Steve Graves, as well as himself and Scheira.

He also said that another local organization has been very supportive of skateboarding in the area.

Community Helping Hands is busy developing an indoor skate park in the city, and has paid for all the wood necessary to build the ramps, Centi and Scheira explained. They said that local skaters are building them, and some will be used for the Block Rock & Session competition.

‘‘Matt Homan is designing the skate park, and Dusty Gifford is working on it too,’’ Scheira said. ‘‘We are going to use some ramps for Saturday and then help get the skateboard park up and running.’’

During the event, Suburban Blend will be open for business, featuring an exclusive array of products usually only available in New York City and Los Angeles, Ca, Scheira explained. He also said that equipment and hardware for upgrades and repairs is available all day Saturday as well.

The competition is open to skaters of all ages, but for those under 18, a parent or guardian signature is necessary to compete. Skaters looking to showcase their skills Saturday can still sign up at Suburban Blend at 17 E. Third St., or get more information by calling 664-3023.

The event takes place on East Third Street from Main to Pine Street from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Article Photos

Skateboard Revolution and Suburban Blend will host Jamestown’s first annual Block Rock & Session Skateboard and Music Festival on Saturday.
Photo by Brooks Fritz

Fact Box

‘‘This is the first ever downtown skateboard event, and there’s some talented people coming to participate.’’
• Pete Scheira
owner of Suburban Blend



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