To those who don’t know, LOVE Park is one of the best places in the world to street skate. With its smooth, marble ground and ledges, LOVE Park has been an irreplaceable skateboarding landmark for over ten years, and unfortunately, you can’t skate there anymore. In 2002, the City of Philadelphia officially banned skateboarding at LOVE, and since then, many skateboarders have teamed up to fight City Hall to allow skateboarding there again. DC Shoes has committed to the fight at LOVE again by donating a million-dollars to be dispersed over the next ten years for LOVE’s upkeep and maintenance. That is, only if the City of Philadelphia lifts the ban on skating there first.
LOVE Park is a very special place to a lot of people. “Baseball has Wrigley Field, and skateboarding has LOVE Park, said DC President Ken Block regarding the ban on skateboarding there. “I wish there were a 1,000 LOVE Parks, but there’s only one. Now it’s our turn to give back by preserving such a prestigious skateboarding landmark. We can only hope the City accepts this gift and helps FREE LOVE PARK by supporting the growth of youth activities like skateboarding.
So on Tuesday, June 1st, 2004, hundreds of people (including skateboarders, city-elected officials, and a lot of media) gathered in Philadelphia at LOVE Park in front of the famous LOVE statue and fountain for an announcement regarding the FREE LOVE PARK movement. The response from the mayor’s office in Philadelphia wasn’t good news for skateboarders as the City rejected the idea of allowing skateboarding at LOVE Park and the million-dollar donation for the park’s upkeep.
As a testimony for his dedication to LOVE Park, DC rider Josh Kalis is now sporting a “LOVE Park tattoo on his forearm. Flown in from Michigan (his new home due to the ban on skateboarding LOVE), Josh grabbed a random board from a kid and then proceeded to 360 flip on LOVE’s hallowed ground: “God, I love this place. It still is the best place to skate in the world.
Together with DC’s efforts, the Friends Of LOVE Park organization will continue to fight the City, as a recent newspaper poll shows that 85% of Philly’s residents are in favor of skateboarding LOVE Park. Stay tuned for more FREE LOVE PARK news, as DC is fully committed to returning skateboarding to LOVE Park again.