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Skateboarders liven up Nanticoke Fairgrounds

2nd annual Sk8tacular event to raise awareness for permanent skate park draws more than 100.

Chris Holt, 16, of Glen Lyon, does a trick jump at the 2nd Annual Sk8tacular held Saturday at the Nanticoke Fairgrounds. More than 100 skateboarders and BMX riders participated in the event, designed to raise awareness for a skate park in Luzerne County. Bands provided a lively tempo for the enthusiasts and visitors during the daylong event.

FRED ADAMS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER

NANTICOKE – Ron Wolfe of Glen Lyon sometimes gets in trouble when he wants to go skateboarding because there is not a legal public place in the Wyoming Valley for him to practice.

Wolfe, 16, and at least 100 other skateboarders and BMX riders from throughout Luzerne County hit slider rails and quarter pipes with their boards and bikes at old Nanticoke Fairgrounds Saturday without getting in trouble with police because they were participating in the 2nd annual Sk8tacular event. It was hosted by James Gidosh, 31, and Kevin Pizzano, 28, of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Skate Park Alliance.

As Wolfe and others swirled around the parking lot listening to live bands, they helped raise awareness of the need for a permanent skateboard park in Luzerne County and money to help build it. State Rep. John Yudichak’s office is working to secure state funding to help build a multi-purpose park at the fairgrounds.

Wolfe supports the idea of establishing a skate and bike park in Nanticoke because “it keeps you out of trouble and it brings communities together,” he said.

Saturday’s event won’t raise a great deal of money, but Gidosh said it helps raise awareness for the need for such a facility.

Pizzano said there aren’t enough activities for youths in Luzerne County, and building skateboard parks would give them a place to stay out of trouble, socialize with friends and practice their sport.

“We are doing this for the kids. You have to start doing things for the younger people and not tell they can’t do things. This is exercise and this is what they love. You are supposed to support this kind of stuff,” Pizzano said.

He and Gidosh are just two members of the Lower Broadway Park Project that is teaming with state and city officials to develop 134.5 acres into a park to include a skate board park, BMX bike park, walking trails, benches and picnic areas.

The park will be constructed in phases with plans for it to eventually include a natural area, canoe launch, soccer fields, football practice field and environmental education area.

“This will be the only one of its kind in a 100-mile radius,” Pizzano said. Often skateboarders must travel to Philadelphia or Binghamton, N.Y., for the closest quality skateboard park, Pizzano said, noting a 15,000-square-foot facility was being built in York.

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