Montclair, NJ — Skate Essex, a 501(c) 3 non-profit established to help local communities create safe skateboarding spaces and programs for children, held its first event, the Party 4 the Park, last Thursday night in Van Vleck Gardens. Money raised will be used toward the first phase of the Montclair Skate Park at Rand Park, the Alexis Sablone Skate-able Sculptures, dubbed SSS for short. After a unanimous vote by the mayor and town council on a resolution to build a permanent skate park in Montclair, Skate Essex is riding fast and hard to make that a reality.
Thursday’s sold out event featured a one-on-one interview with Sablone, Olympic athlete and architect. Her story of being the sole female skater in her hometown combined with her love of architecture, and the undeniable growth of skateboarding as a legitimate sport, captivated the audience of kids, parents and friends of skateboarding . Party-goers also enjoyed food donated by Turtle and the Wolf, Pineapple Express, Van Hook Cheese & Grocery and Solex Fine Foods and drinks donated by Faubourg, Angelbecks and Les Ricey’s Imports. Drinks were served by celebrity bartender TV personality and Montclair’s own George Oliphant of NBC’s “George to the Rescue”.
Many of the current obstacles at The Courts are made of wood. These wooden elements rapidly deteriorate due to weather and constant use by the hundreds of skaters using them each week. In partnering with Sablone, Montclair aims to have one of a kind skateboard obstacles made of concrete and steel. These obstacles will not only last decades and be utilized in a future permanent skatepark, but they would also elevate Montclair’s standing as a skateboarding destination.
With the money raised on Thursday, prior grants and a few pending, Skate Essex expects to break ground in the next few months and have the SSS at the Courts ready for skating in the spring of 2022.