Glenwood boarders plan to roll in Strawberry Days parade
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” On a quiet Friday afternoon 14-year-old Conner Kilpatrick enjoyed riding his skateboard on the mini-half pipe skateboard ramp at DNA SK8. He’d stopped by the shop just to hang out for a while and skate, but ended up helping owner Kari Yuen with some artwork for the shop’s Strawberry Days Float.
Kilpatrick, among a group of local skaters, rode their boards in last year’s Strawberry Days Parade without a float. Yuen thought that a float would help generate more interest this year.
“We did it last year but didn’t have a float,” Kilpatrick said. “So, it should be better this year.”
Kilpatrick painted a mushroom for the shop’s float themed after Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Fitting for Yuen whose hope is that the store can be a sort of wonderland for the skating community of Glenwood Springs.
“Skating is looked at as a negative thing for this town, but it’s not,” Yuen said. “The annoying thing is that it’s not recognized as a sport, but is recognized as a deviant behavior. That is not fair to the kids out there who do it.”
Despite the recently renovated skate park at Two Rivers Park, Yuen said there is really nowhere else for people to skate in Glenwood. And, Yuen added, skating is illegal in many public areas of the town. Yuen hopes her shop can be a place for skaters to feel welcome.
“We don’t have a great park,” Yuen said. “It’s limited, it’s not very diverse and it’s pretty small. If that is the only place where people can skate, that’s not much.”
That’s the reason behind the float. Yuen sees the float as a way to allow people to skate and be a part of the Strawberry Days Parade, which is a part of the town’s community and history. However, June 21 is also National Go Skateboarding Day, which happens to fall on the same day as the parade.
“We want any kids, youth or adults that like to skate, to come out and skate on that day with us,” Yuen said. “We want the people in town to recognize the skating community within the community of Glenwood.”
For Kilpatrick and others who like to skate, like 18-year-old Jordan Wood, the shop is more than just a shop.
“It’s really the only local skate shop in Glenwood,” Wood said “It’s a pretty cool hangout with the ramp and stuff.”
Wood also works at the shop and said that one of the unique aspects of it is the local “skater kids” that hang out at the shop giving it a street credibility that other skate shops lack.
“This is definitely a different store,” Wood said. “I don’t know (Yuen’s) personal thoughts on it, but I think she is trying to give back in some way to the thing that she’s gotten so much from. She’s has given back and has done a good job at giving back to the kids that are into skating and snowboarding.”
Yuen finds inspiration through kids like Kilpatrick and Wood. Not much of a “skater” herself, she claims that she is learning how, but her connection with the local skating community grew from being a snowboarding instructor at Sunlight Mountain Resort during winter.
“It’s the kids that come here that inspire me,” Yuen said. “Skateboarding is so much more to these kids than people realize. It’s a way of transportation but it’s really a lifestyle.”
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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