OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Skateboarders of all ages dropped in at the Old Orchard Beach Skatepark Saturday. After missing out last year, and due to a weather postponement, the 'Thrash Bash' event returned during the first weekend of November.
“It’s a great event that’s grown and grown over the years," Jason Webber, the Recreation Director for Old Orchard Beach, said. “It’s a traditional event we’ve had for the past five or six years.”
The headline of the event was a skating competition that featured some of the best riders in the local area and from all over New England. Skateboarders had a set time to pull off their best run in the two-bowl park.
With dozens of people skating or watching, an issue that has plagued the park became a clear sight to see: it's not big enough.
“You see how many people we have out here and there are only two bowls, it starts to get a little hectic, people run into one another," Oscar Ekman, who rides at the park every day, said.
Expanding the OOB skatepark has been a goal of Webber and the local skateboarding community for a while. The town needs $125K to make that expansion possible and the 'Thrash Bash' was another way to collect donations.
“A bigger park would really benefit the whole community all around," Owen Hubert, another regular said.
Webber said he works near the park and will drive by it every day and see adults skating in the morning and watch dozens of kids take it over after school.
The skating community is tight-knit around Maine, Ekman said. The family atmosphere is something he said he loves being a part of.
“If I go up to Lewiston, down to Sanford, someone knows you. They give you a big old hug and it’s time to skate," Ekman added.
“[The skateboarding community is] pretty much like a family, we’re all here pretty much every day," local rider Brannon Hall said.
Live music, free food, and free gear brought out not just skaters, but community members and community leaders, Webber said.
The town of Old Orchard Beach just launched a virtual way folks can donate to the park's expansion. That link can be found here: