Three years ago today, Mayor Callahan focused a skateboard and officially opened the gates to the Bethlehem Skateplaza to 1000+ skaters, BMXers and supporters over the Grand Opening Weekend and also to the apprehension of a community not sure what to expect from the City’s 1st skateplaza.
Three years later, I’m proud to say that all the naysayers have been silenced. All the nameless bloggers who’d attacked every article of positive press the skateplaza got before it opened with: “What a waste of money no one will use in a year.” “It’s going to be covered in graffiti the first week it opens.” “Great, a place underage kids can go drink and fight.” WE SHUT THEM UP.
Our then Mayor, John Callahan, Ralph Carp- head of Parks & Rec and the City Council believed in us as a skateboard community and did not listen to those that blinded hated the idea of a safe and legal place for skaters to use. The leaders of our City listened to us and trusted we’d treat the skateplaza with respect once it opened like we said we would. How often do you hear about a Mayor and City Council listening to the youth?
Our “ZA” is a beacon for what public skateparks can be like if the City works with the skateboard community to make sure its designed right, built right so we can all have pride in the space we use. We all use the skateplaza daily and we all treat it with respect because it’s something we’ve all worked for and waited to see get built in Bethlehem.
So please, continue to enjoy many more years skating at the Bethlehem Skateplaza but NEVER FORGET to always clean up after yourself (and others) and keep the rest of the nonsense out of the skateplaza too. You know what I’m talking about.
See all the videos of skateplaza milestones HERE.