Boarders and all-wheels enthusiasts have been hurling themselves down the banks of the new Bridgewater Skate Park on York Street since the concrete was first poured and dried, and long before the facility was officially open.
Now, starting at noon on July 14, they'll have the chance to strut their stuff with impunity as the park opens in an official ceremony organized by the Town of Bridgewater called Celebrate Skate.
While Bridgewater's mayor David Mitchell is expected to say a few words as is Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, the mayor of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL), and the Nova Scotia government has been invited to send a representative, the focus will be on fun, according to the Town of Bridgewater's (TOB's)communications coordinator, Patrick Hirtle.
"It's designed to be a very informal event," he told LighthouseNOW.
"We want folks to focus on enjoying the park space and really getting to skate it and explore it and celebrate it for the first time officially."
A local band from the Bridgewater area, the Stab Rovers, will provide music for the event and there will be refreshments and possibly a food truck.
"You know, we're hoping to create a little bit of a party atmosphere. And basically encourage folks to stay as long as they want to Saturday afternoon. There's no real prescribed end time to the event. As long as the sun is up they're welcome to stay there and skate," said Hirtle.
The Town of Bridgewater was the main proponent of the $645,000 project, which included an $80,000 contribution from MODL, support from private companies such as BMI and money gleaned from a crowd funding campaign.
Phase one, which cost $500,000, is completed and includes construction of the 788-metre concrete plaza, the landscaping around it, and modifications to the parking lot, according to Hirtle.
The second phase, which is expected to tally in at an additional $145,000, is a longer-term project and includes the construction of a pavilion, he said.
MODL Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson told council members at their July 10 meeting, "that $80,000 investment was well spent," noting youngsters have already been enjoying the park "for quite a while."
So many enthusiasts were taking to the bowl, TOB issued a warning against its use while it was still a construction zone.
Councillor Jennifer McDonald, who chaired a town council meeting last November in the absence of the mayor and deputy, said the park wasn't ready for use and advised the boarders should wait until it's official opening, which at the time was slated for his spring.
"We just want to make sure everybody uses it safely," she told the meeting.
The park contains multiple transitions such as walls, stairs, ledges and banks that are said to appeal to all skater skill levels.
The second phase of the park amounts to about 22 per cent of the project's total cost. Flagged for establishment in 2018 or 2019, it includes a 177 square metre concrete street-style leg in addition to a gazebo and asphalt concrete paving of the parking area and walkways.