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On 'Go Skate Day,' Colorado skaters celebrate community

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DENVER The thunderous sounds of wheels carving on concrete and trucks grinding on steel rang throughout the Downtown Denver Skatepark early Wednesday as dozens gathered around the park to celebrate their community.

Skaters came together for Go Skate Day, an annual skateboard celebration on June 21 that aims to make skateboarding more accessible. The tradition started in New York City in the early aughts.

Denver Parks and Recreation, along with community partners, celebrated the day with this event that featured free skate lessons, community celebrations and the unveiling of new public murals.

The park was bustling with all types of people — small children learning how to skateboard gained confidence, while veteran skaters shredded in the bowls and ramps.

One of these skating veterans, Crash Cole, brought his unique DIY boards to the park for people to see and ride around. Each board was a one-of-a-kind creation like a switchblade board, an airplane board and even a bunny slipper board made from bathroom mats. 

“I’ve done about 21 boards or so. I use junk and even old skateboards to make each one different,” Cole commented.

Crash Cole showing off his DIY board collection.

The main attraction at the Go Skate Day event was the unveiling of two public art installations done by artists Jolt and Chris Haven, who were selected after a public call for submissions. Jolt painted two murals in the center of the park, while Haven painted on the four pillars at the corners of the park.

The murals serve as an homage to the culture and celebration of skateboarding in Denver as well as influential community members.

“Most of these names and these images that are on these walls are huge people who had an impact in the past but also the future of this park,” Jolt explained. “It took me being present, and to understand the community and the environment here to be able to represent that.”

Among the people featured on the mural was longtime Denver skater Jesse Mondragon, who is highly regarded by others in the community. Because of his skill and his eagerness to cultivate strong relationships with the people in the park, many thought he deserved to have his portrait in the mural.

“Jesse is a pillar to this park. He’s amazing. The world is going to know who he is eventually,” Jolt said.

Mondragon poses next to his portrait on the mural.

Both Mondragon and Jolt said this mural is a catalyst to bring people and the community together.

“This place, to me, is like a home. These kids around me, they’re part of my family, our family. It’s good to see them here, but it’s also good to see people who are gone still being remembered here through these murals,” Mondragon expressed.

As skaters ride by the murals, the artists and the locals hope that the murals inspire people to not only come to the park, but spark a sense of community among the skateboarders in Denver.

“There's no place in the world that's like this skate park,” Jolt pronounced. “This place is a special place.”

Peter Vo is the journalism intern at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach him at

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