Grand Opening of New SkateplazaJana K. Hoffman
Photos by Max Zahradnik
Last weekend, BettyLife was onsite for the three-day grand opening celebration of the newly opened Bethlehem Skateplaza in Bethlehem, PA. After nearly seven years, this labor of love has finally come to life thanks to state grants, community fundraising, special donations and, of course, those who poured countless hours designing and building it from the bottom up.
A lively community of skateboarders, BMX riders, parents, business people and onlookers gathered together in 90 degree heat to watch the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, July 16 where Bethlehem’s Mayor John Callahan broke a skateboard in half and cut a bike chain to initiate the park’s opening.
As the gate swung wide, a flurry of crazed and anxious skaters and BMXers rushed into the free park to get their first tries on the street-inspired terrain including banks, stairs and benches. No doubt, the park was hot! Friday’s festivities culminated with a free skate until 8 p.m.
Day Two welcomed pro teams including DC Skateboarding, LRG, 5Boro, Vans and others. So much swag from Vans, Supra, KREW, and more filtered through the plaza. The afternoon featured pro demos and autograph sessions with lines packed with kids more than 50 deep, shop contests, the Game of SKATE and a Best Trick contest.
I attempted to stay cool under the Supra tent and volunteered a few hours of my time at the giveaway wheel. Ten bucks donation, one spin, win sweet shit. I’m still waiting to find out how much the weekend raised in funds for Phase 2 construction.
What the Skateplaza seriously lacked, though, was a few good girls killing it. That’s where you come in! Consider this a new destination spot. The community is giving off some seriously positive vibes toward the Skateplaza. The downtown areas are bustling with rad retail options, great restaurants from Mexican to Italian to Indian, a pretty sweet bar scene and even a casino. Plan to make this your next weekend trip.
I couldn’t be any happier to finally see this Skateplaza come to life because a core group of my friends have stayed up until the wee hours of the night putting plans together just hoping that it’ll one day become a reality. Congrats to them for this new reality! For more, check out www.bethlehemskateplaza.com