Tonight, from 6-10 p.m., the Vans Skatepark of Orlando, Fla. is holding a farewell BMX party at the park, with appearances by visiting Vans BMX team riders Cory Nastazio, Scotty Cranmer, Colin McKay, Dakota Roche, Ryan Guettler and Trey Jones. The farewell party will feature the final BMX session at the park (which is free to the general public), plus free food and drink, giveaways and prizes.
According to Vans, the BMX Party is a small way for the brand to say "Thank you, Orlando" for over a decade of good times and progressive BMX riding.
In August, the Vans Skatepark of Orlando announced that the skatepark would cease operations in January of 2012 due to the termination of their lease. According to a statement from Vans, "Our lease is being terminated due to redevelopment of the property. Everyone at Vans would like to thank the Orlando community, in particular thousands of skaters and BMX riders, who have welcomed us as well as the hundreds of staff who have made the Vans Skatepark at Festival Bay such a popular destination over the past decade."
Vans has also partnered with the City of Orlando's Families, Parks & Recreation and Team Pain to create two concrete park obstacles that will be donated to the public Orlando Skatepark (OSP) in downtown Orlando, as a thank you to the community for the last decade of support. The two obstacles, scheduled to be finished in January, will stand in memory of Vans.
Located at the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive in Orlando, the Vans Skatepark opened as part of a nationwide chain of Vans Skateparks in the early '00s. The facility features a 25,000 square foot indoor street course, a cement bowl dubbed "Dough Boy," an 8,000 square foot warm up street course, a 15,000 square foot outdoor concrete course, as well as a vert ramp, mini ramps of varying sizes and an arcade. Over the past decade, the Vans Skatepark of Orlando helped to nurture the talents of riders such as Trey Jones, Chad Degroot, Dave Mahoney, Rob Nolli and many more in the central Florida BMX scene.
A Facebook page created in support of keeping the skatepark open and boasting over 7,000 supporters reflected on the upcoming closing: "Well everyone, it was a great shot and we all fought our hardest. We only have a few more days to enjoy the skatepark many of us call home. Remember the good and not the bad. Have your last few weeks here and make them the best sessions you've ever had!"
If you're in the Orlando, Fla., tonight is your final chance to ride the skatepark.