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Sun, Jan. 19

City of Prescott recognizes national holiday

PRESCOTT - On June 21, skateboarders across the United States will celebrate the fourth annual "Go Skateboarding Day," the official national holiday for the sport.

However, this is the first year the City of Prescott will participate with its own activities at the Parks and Recreation Department's Mike Fann Skate Park at Ken Lindley Field.

On June 12, Mayor Rowle Simmons will read a proclamation declaring June 21 as Go Skateboarding Day in Prescott, which is the first city in Arizona to make such a statement.

The International Association of Skateboard Companies established the holiday to give skateboarders and those who enjoy the activity an opportunity to "drop everything and get on a skateboard."

Tyler Culbertson, who works for his father, Bob, at Calavera Board Supply at 226 N. Cortez St., is helping to organize Prescott's festivities.

One of the more popular activities conducted in major U.S. cities is skateboarding shoe company Emerica's "Wild in the Streets." Over the past three years, skaters have gone to either New York City or Chicago to skate together to and from select locations within city limits.

"It's kind of surreal looking because there's about 2,000 skaters on the streets together going at the same time," Culbertson said.

With that idea in mind, Culbertson, 25, created a similar

event for skateboarders in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley who want to take part in Go Skateboarding Day.

Skaters will meet on the old Roadhouse 69 parking lot off Montezuma Street at 1 p.m. and go on a poker run to five different locations around the city.

Separate five-member teams will pick up a playing card on the lot and head to a handful of tents at Granite Creek Park. Each team will grab one card at every tent and ultimately return to the skate park with five cards. The team with the best hand wins prizes, including skateboards and clothing.

"At some of the tents we'll have a Best Trick contest," Culbertson said. "It's just to unite the skaters and have them hang out together for the day. It's going to be a good way to show the city how many kids actually are skating and participating."

Bob Culbertson said the poker run encourages skaters to think more about the team concept and rallying around friends. The city is currently ironing out the safety details for the run to ensure both skaters and motorists are not in harm's way.

"Get your buddies together. Girls or guys, we don't care who," Bob Culbertson said. "Skill level is not involved. If you can push, you can go."

Upon their return to the skate park, skaters will listen to live music until about 5:30 p.m.

The leaders of Prescott's skateboarding community are encouraging skaters to wear knee pads and helmets, as well as promoting tolerance for skateboarding.

Cody Watson said the city is making positive inroads in its acceptance of skaters.

"I've been skateboarding my whole life, and just the fact of having a skate day on the City of Prescott's special events calendar - that's a huge step toward Prescott opening up to skating and being more kid-friendly," Watson said. "A lot of kids skateboard in Prescott, and it's kind of a way of Prescott recognizing the youth."

Skateboarders say they love the alternative sport because of the independence and freedom involved.

"It's comes down to you," Watson said. "There are no coaches. You're the coach and the force behind it."

To pre-register for the poker run, visit Tyler Culbertson at Calavera Board Supply. For more information about the city's Go Skateboarding Day, call either Culbertson at 776-0084 or Prescott Parks and Recreation at 777-1588 or Ann at 442-5279.

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