ON VIDEO: Roller skating nights draw hundreds to Kelowna | infonews
03 September 2022 – 08:06
Over the past eight weeks, a roller-skating disco party in Kelowna has grown in popularity.
Valley Roller Skate began a few years ago as roller skating began to gain popularity throughout the region as a way for skaters to connect and learn from each other. Now they have expanded and made good use of the flat surface of Stuart Park for Tuesday disco nights.
Video credit: Si Frost
Roller skaters in Kelowna
Every week, between 150 and 250 people have shown up to enjoy a Tuesday night skate since July 12, as well as skate rentals and a DJ.
One of the organizers, Colleen Milligan, said she partnered with the city of Kelowna this season on a trial basis, but also plans to return on the outside next season.
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“It’s really popular, it’s been awesome,” she said. “Of course we’re right in front of the town hall so they saw us practicing there and one day we made a connection to the town which helps organize recreation and events and they talked to us and asked if we would be interested in helping organize.
Last year the rollers had pop-up parties which were popular, but the turnout was different this season.
The city also hosted roller-skating parties before the pandemic, so this was an opportunity to combine the two resources and add rentals and a DJ, Milligan said.
“Everyone seemed to be having a great time,” she said. The rentals were a huge aspect that also contributed to the success of the roller parties. With over 100 pairs of skates they are selling out, she said, adding that there is now a mix of skaters and inline skaters.
The last official night ended on August 30, but skaters will skate every Tuesday night until the ice is set up in the park. DJs will still make fairly regular appearances during this time and a Halloween skate is scheduled for October 25 with prizes for best costumes, she said.
Milligan, along with six other organizers from Valley Roller Skate and Arcade, who supply the DJs, have since been in touch with the city.
“I wasn’t too surprised to see it grow to this point because there’s been a lot of interest in skating over the years and people just need an opportunity to get out there and enjoy it. “, she said. “Based on the popularity, I think we could easily sustain a longer time there.”
Milligan said roller parties will return next July and continue through Halloween. Classes are planned for beginners, roller dance, and at the skatepark. Interested persons can Register online.
Mariko Siggers, community and neighborhood services manager, said this is the first time the city has helped organize self-directed roller skating parties.
“Overall, the collaboration has been really positive and very well received by the community,” she said. “I think it got bigger and better every week.”
Although the city hasn’t started planning its outdoor summer events for next year, it hopes to see them return.
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