Skatepark a huge hit among locals
MANCHESTER — Manchester's new skatepark had its coming-out party Saturday and boy did they come out.
The long-awaited and eagerly anticipated opening of the skatepark brought out a large crowd and people, couldn't quit raving about the new addition to the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park.
There were kids of all ages and abilities shredding from before the ribbon-cutting until long after the last hot dog was gone.
At a certain point, the skatepark committee gathered to cut the symbolic ribbon as skaters lined the bowl. Afterward, the skaters took turns dropping in.
Along the way, a band showed up and played for a while and parents and other interested adults stood around and marveled at some of the tricks they were seeing.
Some of those tricks were courtesy of a trio of pro skaters with strong local ties.
Brothers Tom, Steve and Chuck Mull got their start in skateboarding in Manchester, performing skateboard tricks around the Northshire while growing up.
The three, along with another brother Dave, who came a day late to the festivities, and younger sister Jennie, are all products of Burr and Burton Academy.
Together they formed The Warble, a skateboarding company that deals in feature-length skater films and sales a line of merchandise.
Tom, Steve and Dave Mull now live in California where they're actively involved in The Warble and are well known and respected in the skateboarding industry.
Chuck teaches English at a school in Massachusetts and Jennie is a recent graduate of BBA.
The presence of Manchester's first-family of skateboarding created an air of excitement at the skatepark as local kids clearly enjoyed earning whoops of approval from the Mulls.
Steve Mull, in an interview, said skateboarding had faded away a little and he was glad to see it come back strong.
"When we started skating, Manchester had such a strong skateboarding scene," Steve Mull said. "To see that coming back — to see that fire lit again — is one of the coolest things."
Steve said it was good to spend some time with some old friends.
"It was cool to see them come out," Steve Mull said. "Skateboarding can build some pretty strong relationships."
Mull said the new park will bring people to town because skaters will travel around to area skateparks.
"It's that high quality of a park it's going to attract people," Mull said. "That's a huge part of skateboarding. That's just part of the culture."
He said that he and some of his brothers were doing some filming in Burlington and had heard talk around the skatepark there about the Manchester park.
"They're talking about heading down south to hit up Manchester," Mull said. "It will be a great draw for the town especially after Phase 2 and Phase 3 get done."
But beyond the dignitaries and officials, the skatepark was full of kids on skateboards, scooters and a couple of bikes.
Dozens of skaters from the littles tykes to dudes who were way overdue for a shave took turns waiting to drop into the bowl at one end of the park or lining up to hit the rail or try to land tricks.
Some skated fast and threw big air. Others puttered around the flat spots looking sheepish as they tried to learn and gain confidence.
One little girl with long, curly hair simply laid on her board on her belly and rolled down a slope before hopping up and doing it again.
The park truly does offer a little something for everyone.
Contact Darren Marcy at email@example.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.
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