Five hundred people showed up to christen Mission Viejo, California’s fist public skatepark August 18, 1999 during the grand opening ceremony at William M. Beebe Park.

Mayor Sherri Butterfield was on hand to deliver the dedication speech, which was followed by a skate demo.

After the demo skaters were then let loose to enjoy their own place to skate The cement skate park includes a bowl, pyramid, spine, walls, ramps and hips.

Like Huntington Beach, CA, Mission Viejo solved the liability problem by opting for no fee and no supervision and establishing an ordinance that regulates the use of the facility. It states that the city is not liable for injuries if the injured person is 14 years of age or older and the cause of the injury is a trick or stunt. Signs posted at the park let skaters know that they must wear a helmet, elbow pads and kneepads or they could be cited by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.Although concerns remain about the kinds of activities that may take place at the park, such as youth smoking or graffiti, most seem confident that skaters will take care of the facility.

After all don’t the authorities have better things to do than bust people for not wearing pads at a public skatepark.