LACOMBE — Dozens of skateboarders and BMXers turned out in a show of appreciation for a new skatepark at its official grand opening on Saturday.
“It’s a great atmosphere, especially on a day like today,” said Phil Boehme, who came with his three children to take in the action at the park in the city’s Michener Park.
“It’s a good location, with all the other different facilities here to use at the same time.”
His 13-year-old son Jonny Boehme has checked out about a dozen of Alberta’s skateparks and gives Lacombe’s top rank.
“It’s probably first in Alberta,” he said.
“I like the bowl and I really like the horseshoe and just the style of skatepark it is.”
Susan Young, president of the Lacombe Skatepark Committee, said the facility is the realization of a 20-year dream in the community.
The whole community, including city council, volunteers, businesses and the provincial government came together to make it happen, she said.
“When I see the usage of this park I say to my friends this is probably the best volunteer thing I’ve ever done,” said Young.
The skatepark cost about $580,000 to build and fundraising is ongoing to raise the last $20,000 to $30,000.
The city donated the land, in-kind donations and cash and significant cash donations were made by the province and Lacombe County, local service clubs and corporate sponsors, including Encana.
The park was opened last fall but they waited until this spring for the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
The festivities included skateboarding and BMX bike demonstrations, a best trick contest and free bike maintenance sessions among other activities.
Local vendors also showcased their skateboarding and biking merchandise.
Logan Ritchey, 10, came to check out the action on his mountain bike with some of his friends.
“It’s pretty awesome. It’s pretty fun to do stunts and all that stuff.”
Seven-year-old Nash Bamford declared it the “best skatepark in the world.”
“It’s pretty cool,” agreed Brendan Grabo, 11.