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Skateboarders turn out for Greenport festival
Plastic tires rumbled over the smooth gray concrete as more than a dozen young skaters performed tricks, flips and grinds in the fourth annual Greenport Skate Park Festival on Moore’s Lane on Sunday.
Greenport residents and skateboarding enthusiasts Mike and Michelle Bendik hold the festival each year to raise money for the renovation and upkeep of the skate park on Moore’s Lane.
“What we’d like to do is renovate the actual park itself and actually build this area and reconstruct it as a community hub for the whole area to use,” said Michelle Bendik, 39. “It would be more like a community park with a skate park built in.”
The Greenport couple expects to raise $5,000 from Sunday’s event, which would go toward the improvement of the park that was built by the town more than a decade ago.
“A lot of these kids are very creative,” said Mike Bendik, 41, who has been skating for over 20 years. “This [skating] affords opportunities and outlets to express creativity.”
The festival, featured face-painting for kids, food, raffles and live music by Long Island band Nonstop to Cairo in addition to skating competitions throughout the afternoon.
Despite being postponed from Saturday to Sunday because of the rainy weather, about 50 skaters and spectators watched and cheered on competitors as they participated in street skating, half-pipe and ramp events.
“It’s not even about the contest,” said Cody MacGovern, 18, of Hampton Bays. ”It’s just about skating around.”
Skaters ranging from children to adults competed in several age brackets for the chance to win skating accessories, boards and equipment from local skate shops. Competitors were judged based on their skill and style in individual one-minute sessions.
“The thing about skating is that you can do it anywhere,” said Michelle Bendik. “Not everyone plays football or baseball or team sports, and it’s a healthy positive outlet for [kids].”
The winners for the 12-and-under category were Justin McKinney and Logan Keschak.
Dale Norklun, 15, of Southold, and Chuck Macwhinnie, 16, of Hampton Bays, won the 13-to-17-year-old division.
Andrew Semon, 18, of Orient Point and Cody MacGovern, 18, of Hampton Bays, won the 18-and-older division.
“It’s a rush being in competition,” said Semon. “I’m here for the fun of it. I don’t care about winning.”