Go Skateboarding Day: Thousands of Skaters Overtake Downtown L.A., Venice Boardwalk
Updated after the jump with live pics from the traffic nightmare.
No, that's not a swarm of cicadas outside your office, celebrating the first day of summer like it's 1840! That, friend, is an adorable mob of 1,000s of skateboarders, practicing their right to rebel on the one day of the year cops are paid to tolerate it: Go Skateboarding Day.
"We are aware of it, and we will monitor it," LAPD Lieutenant Paul Vernon told the LA Times. "The expectation is that people will follow the law and not disrupt traffic."
Buzzkill. The unofficial (but gaining traction) national holiday is something of a corporate dream:
Skate brand Emerica is gladly sponsoring the downtown L.A. leg of the event, which will feature a five-mile group ride to East L.A. -- from Hollenbeck Park to Lafayette Park.
Another skate-shop clinger, Altamont Apparel, has Twitpics of the ratpack about to depart:
Twitter via @Altamont"Warm up session at Hollenbeck skate plaza. We are leaving at 1pm! Get here!!!"
Lookin' good, guys. So yeah -- the trip begins like now at 415 South St Louis Street, then winds its way along an undisclosed route (wouldn't you like to know!) until the presumed afterparty at Lafayette. Best case scenario: Odd Future shows up.
Kids are apparently flocking in from all directions:
The other big GSD showing will be on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, where a bunch of semi-big names in skateboarding will be joining more corporate sponsors to honor the art of the rebel from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Kind of reminds us of the Boardwalk's new wave of ad graffiti. Sigh.)
Update: according to City News Service, some skaters will cross the entire city, from Hollenbeck Park to Venice Beach's skate park. Here's the pitch for going all the way west, via Yo! Venice:
Deejay Jacques will be on the turntables while pro skaters such as Ryan Decenzo, Jake Brown, Sean Sheffey, James Craig, Ronnie Creager, Mark Appleyard, Rodney Mullen and Cooper Wilt skate. There will be cash prizes for tricks and merchandise giveaways!
The Times notes that GSD "will benefit Boards for Bros, a nonprofit group that collects and refurbishes skateboards to donate to children who cannot afford them." Aw. As if y'all needed another reason to get wild and fuck up traffic!
Update: And they're off into the smog, as documented by Altamont's full-time Tweeter:
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.