BY GIA MAZUR, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: JUNE 4, 2016
Sounds of summer filled the air Friday in downtown Scranton.
Crowds of people buzzed around the city during June’s First Friday Art Walk, basking in the mild humidity of a late spring night in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Musicians played guitar on bar patios, and restaurants’ open doors allowed live piano music to drift outside to passers-by. Pulled pork, chicken thighs and grilled veggies smoked and sizzled during the Fire at the Furnace barbecue at Scranton Iron Furnaces.
On the Spruce Street side of Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, the sounds of scraping on metal and wheels rolling on concrete and wood echoed through the buildings.
In an ultimate celebration of warmer weather, skateboarders performed during a live demonstration hosted by Leadership Lackawanna. The event was a culmination of the Leadership class of 2016’s project, which teamed with West Scranton Hyde Park Neighborhood Watch to create a self-sustaining summer skateboard camp, Jackson Street Thrashers.
Members of the groups, along with the Northeast Pennsylvania Skatepark Alliance, assembled a ramp and rails in the Peoples Security Bank parking lot for anyone with a board or scooter to show their stuff. Music blared and a crowd gathered to watch the skaters perform slides, grinds, ollies and flip tricks.
James Gidosh, who co-founded the Skatepark Alliance with Dino DeNaples, is a 30-year skater and will serve as skate camp trainer. Skating made a positive impact on Mr. Gidosh’s life, and he’s happy to pay it forward to a new generation.
“(Skating) gets kids off the street and gives them something to do,” he said. “It’s about completing a task: focusing on a trick and following through with that in your life.”
After months of planning everything from curriculum to cost analysis, Leadership Lackawanna member Elizabeth Guerrero was excited to see the group’s hard work come together and support a good cause.
“It’s giving the community something to be proud of and something different for the kids to do,” Mrs. Guerrero said.
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