skateboard

Eamon Aldridge gets some air off a wall at the newly opened Laconia Skate Park on Friday afternoon. (Karen Bobotas photo/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

LACONIA — Skateboarders jumped down steps, rode railings and sped along concrete banks on Friday afternoon as the city’s new skatepark was dedicated.

Riders on kick scooters and BMX bikes were also on hand to experience the new facility.

Dalton Sawyer of Belmont was waiting to try out the park on his bike.

“It’s kind of crowded,” he said as skateboarders zipped past him. “If we hit someone they get mad.”

Sawyer was one of an estimated 50 enthusiasts from several Lakes Region communities and beyond who were on hand as a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to formally open the city’s newest recreation facility located in Opechee Park.

“This will be amazing for everyone,” Parks and Facilities Director Amy Lovisek said before doing the honors with a giant pair of scissors.

Also on hand were Mayor Andrew Hosmer, and four members of the City Council, along with City Manager Scott Myers, some city department heads, and members of the Laconia Fire Department, and the Belknap County Sheriff’s Department.

“This is the best skatepark in the state,” said Travis Calley who traveled up from Concord to get a feel for the facility. ”It has good transitions and good ledges,” the 22-year-old software engineer said of the park’s design.

With skateboarding now an Olympic event and the number of skate parks on the rise, a sport long seen as renegade has become decidedly mainstream.

Lovisek looked around in wonder and said, “What an amazing turnout.”

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