The newest phase of the Skatepark of Baltimore in Hampden has been open for skating since December. However, winter isn’t really the best time for an outdoor unveiling. This week, city officials are finally taking the opportunity to formally open the street plaza.
The celebration is set for this Saturday, May 13, from 12 to 8 p.m. Skatepark of Baltimore board president Stephanie Murdock will be joined by Mayor Catherine Pugh, Interim City Recreation and Parks Director Bill Vondrasek and assorted city and state lawmakers.
DJ Remedy, skate punk band McRad and others will be playing live music, and Hampden’s Sweet Side and Golden West cafes will serve food. Waverly Brewing Company will also be there pouring up its new Frontside Ale, a beer nod to the skateboarding move.
If you haven’t seen it, the new 11,000-square-foot street section of the park is a site to behold, with assorted bumps and ledges, a set of stairs and a handrail and various other innovative terrain designs for skateboarders, BMXers and the like. The nonprofit says an average of more than 100 youth per day — a projection of up to 36,500 people for all of this year — are using the park.
The project cost about $465,000, which came from state and city funds and private donations. It replaced a beat-up asphalt pad containing scattered obstacles with smooth, poured concrete. The section abuts the park’s bowl section, which opened in 2014.
Murdock said the park has brought more traffic to the neighborhood over the last half-year, which has been a boon to local merchants. She’s still getting calls every weekend from young people who live outside the area asking if the park is open or for other info.
“It makes me really happy to see these area codes that I don’t recognize and people that are obviously coming from outside of Baltimore to enjoy the park for the day,” she said.
In December, skaters were eager to test out the new street area well before it had been officially opened.
“Basically, as soon as the concrete was dry, the kids were just dying to get in there to skate,” Murdock previously told Baltimore Fishbowl.
This opening will be a bit more official. The event will begin at noon, with speakers making announcements starting at 1 p.m.
Roosevelt Park is located at 1201 W. 36th Street in Hampden.
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