Friday, July 12, 2024

Footbridge Skate and Arts Summerfest Is Sunday

A skate and arts park in Footbridge Park is grinding closer to reality, and the crew looking to make it happen will be on hand at the first Summerfest this Sunday, a daylong event to support the project. 

Summerfest at Footbridge Park will start at 11 a.m. and shred until 4 p.m. There will be food trucks, a beer tent, a silent auction and live local bands including Exit 12, Bad Answer and the Cellar Dwellers. DJ Deep Creep will be playing all-vinyl sets throughout the day. 

Evie Tinley, co-chair of the Footbridge Skate and Arts Park organizing committee, said there has been a lot of enthusiasm for the project and she hopes the Summerfest will help get even more.  

“This will be a fundraiser for the Footbridge Skate and Arts Park project,” Tinley said. “The idea is to get the word out and create awareness with people who may not know much about it.”

The vision for the park includes the skate park portion, but there will also be places not necessarily skate-centric. There will be gathering spaces and an outdoor venue for music, particularly since the lay of the land forms a natural amphitheater. Spontaneous music sessions will be encouraged. 

“It’s going to have two different uses,” Tinley said. “There will be places that are skateable like a traditional skate park. And we are going to have a lot of outdoor gallery space.” 

Murals are already appearing along the remains of the concrete coal bins. Footbridge Park is located on what was once a bustling railroad yard, the legacy of which will be reflected in the project, Tinley said. 

Summerfest will be the skatepark committee’s first major fundraiser. Visitors to the event will be asked for a $10/person donation but kids are free. Tinley said the committee has already made substantial progress raising money for the project from small donations. 

Donations are especially important as the skatepark committee plans to raise all the money to fund the project through private donations, sponsorships and grants.

If you are interested in sharing your skills and talents with the skateboard committee, more information can be found at blairstownbec.com/footbridge. If you’d like to make a donation, click the Footbridge Skate and Arts Park GoFundMe page

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.