Skateboard competition at the Sandy Skatepark this Saturday
by: Marcus Hathcock, Sandy boarders fly high at last year's Skatefest.

The X-Games might not come to Sandy any time soon, but the town will satisfy its thirst for skateboarding at the sixth annual Sandy Skatefest.

'It's going to be the best year,' said Nate Langer, owner of Northern Alliance, a skateboard and snowboard shop in Sandy.

Carol Cohen, Sandy Community Center activities director, said she anticipates the festival will continue to grow as more skateboarders from neighboring communities and the local area choose to compete.

The event features different age groups of skaters performing tricks at the Sandy Skate Park and on other skate features, including a half-pipe and quarter-pipe, will be placed in the street. Prizes are awarded to the top skaters, but everybody will receive something.

Local vendors selling food, drinks and products are Wall Street Pizza, Kathy's Epicurean, Sandy Kiwanis, the Sandy High Water Polo Team and Windells Camp.

Cohen said the event could not be held without the help from local 'presenting' sponsors, organizations and businesses that help fund the festival.

Live entertainment will also be provided, including the bands Meat Sweats and Lockness Mobster, as well as DJ Woody. Organizers expect more than 500 people to turn out for the event, including campers from the nationally recognized Windells Camp in Brightwood.

The major financial sponsor is the Sandy Kiwanis Club and the primary promotional sponsor is Northern Alliance. The Troutdale Recreation Department also will provide staff support.

Langer took charge of the event this summer after Oregon Skate, the skate store that had previously sponsored the event, closed its doors.

He made it his goal for this year's Skatefest to be bigger and better than previous ones. The company has obtained prizes from many skate apparel and equipment companies.

'I guarantee that any kid that comes there will walk away with something for free,' Langer said. 'Even if you just come to watch, you'll at least get a free T-shirt. We've almost got too much stuff.'

Skatefest gates will open at 9 a.m. and competition will start at 10 a.m. General admission is $1, and a competition fee will be $6. Helmets are required to participate.

Participants may pre-register at the Sandy Recreation Department, 38348 Pioneer Boulevard, or Northern Alliance, 37065 Highway 26.

For more information or to register, call Cohen at 503-668-4469.

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