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Skate Street DeKalb draws crowd at Kishwaukee Fest

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:53 p.m. CDT
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Michael Swanberg, 18, does a trick on his skateboard Wednesday during Skate Street DeKalb on Locust Street in DeKalb.
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Joey Lopresti, 19, skates with Mini Abe on Wednesday during Skate Street DeKalb. Mini Abe is part of a state-wide tourism campaign and will be accompanying an Abraham Lincoln impersonator as the grand marshall of Friday's Kishwaukee Fest Parade.

DeKALB – Local skaters jumped at the chance to skate in the street Wednesday.

Skate Street DeKalb was held Wednesday on Locust Street as part of Kishwaukee Fest. People of all ages brought out their skateboards to ride in the street and through Van Buer Plaza. 

Kishwaukee Fest chairman Michael Embrey said the skate event was started because originally, Kishwaukee Fest was all about music events.

Wednesday night was a night for children and teens, but festival organizers had a tough time picking a music genre to appeal to the younger audience. That’s when they pulled together the skating event.

“Skating is a heck of a lot more fun,” Embrey said.

Josh Waddle, of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, said the event brings kids and families to downtown as well, to remind them what downtown DeKalb has to offer.

One downtown business, Small Town Skate Shop, built the skateboard ramps for the event.

“It’s a good way to keep people excited about skateboarding,” said Ariel Ries, owner of Small Town Skate Shop. “They get to actually skate in the street, which is huge. We do it for the love of skating and how amazing [skating] makes you feel.”

The skating will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Locust Street. There will be a miniramp contest with a cash prize. There will also be a demonstration from Character Skateboards, out of Chicago.

Jeff Schwartz and Michael Koeplin, both 17 and from Sycamore, came out for the event after hearing about it for the first time this year.

“I thought it was pretty cool ’cause there’s not that many places around here to skate,” Koeplin said.

Adam Barnhardt, 18, of Sugar Grove said the event was a good way to get out.

“It’s fun to meet new people and get to hang out with other skaters,” Barnhardt said.


For more information about Kishwaukee Fest, visit kishwaukeefest.com.

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