HOLMES BEACH – After months of anticipation and a lot of help from the community, the city’s new Community Skate Park finally opened Feb. 15.
A cheer went up from community members and local skaters as the ribbon was cut, officially opening the park to the public. Mayor Judy Titsworth said the park was being called the Community Skate Park because, without the community, she said the park couldn’t have been built. For the ribbon-cutting, she called up Island residents David Zaccagnino and Tom Sanger to join the city and Manatee County elected officials and staff. Zaccagnino worked with city leaders to help secure the $100,000 in donations necessary to build the bowl section of the skate park. Sanger not only helped to raise funds, materials and labor, he also stepped up to create the concrete skate path from the bowl to the promenade section of the skate park.
“Tom poured his heart and soul into this skate park,” Titsworth said, thanking him for his contributions.
To thank the many local community members and businesses who contributed to the skate park, a banner was placed on the fencing lining the back of the park identifying the dozens of contributors.
“Take a look at this banner and when you see these people out in the community, tell them ‘thank you,’ ” Tokajer said of the skate park’s donors.
Dozens of skaters of all ages came out and took to the new skate park, trying out the ramps, rails, quarter pipe and other obstacles, though one of the most popular attractions was the skate bowl, which was newly opened for public use. Skaters lined up for their chance to skate through the bowl.
When they needed a break, staff from Poppo’s Taqueria and The Beach Bistro were on hand with tacos and hotdogs. City staff handed out drinks, along with T-shirts and baseball caps commemorating the occasion. The team from West Coast Surf Shop brought along a new skateboard, which was won by Ben Rigney Jr.
“It’s a great day,” Commissioner Kim Rash said, looking out at all of the people gathered to celebrate community in Holmes Beach.