SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The annual Old Mountain Field Skate Contest is returning to the park this Saturday.
For the seventh year, the contest will serve as a fundraiser for the park, but for the first year, the contest will also include an art show.
Andrew Barbosa, the event coordinator, said he and a friend came up with the idea for the art show after returning to the park to find it covered with graffiti.
“There was some pretty crappy graffiti and vandalism, and some of it was offensive,” Barbosa said.
Barbosa, who lives in San Diego running his business SD Skate Life, returned to Wakefield July 7.
“The first day I got back, I spray painted over all the ramps,” he said.
Barbosa said he and his friend, Mike Brown, then took inspiration from the art wall on the bike path, and decided to organize local artists to help repaint the ramps.
The ramps were repainted Thursday night and will be on display during the skate contest Saturday.
Barbosa said the artists who helped paint the ramps will also have their art work available for sale on the walls of the hockey rink during the contest. A portion of the proceeds from the art will benefit the skate park, in addition to the proceeds from the contest.
“Parks and recreation doesn’t really have a maintenance and operations fund for [the park],” Barbosa said. “The park is 15 years old and it needs some upgrades.”
Barbosa said the contest has raised more than $10,000 in the last five years.
The contest this year includes three events: the game of “skate,” which Barbosa said is like “Horse” in basketball, best trick and two one minute contest runs. Participants can enter in the beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert categories.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. and is $20 for all three events.
“There will be tons of prizes,” Barbosa said.
The skate contest’s sponsors, including local companies in the skate boarding industry, Narragansett Surf and Skate Shop, Drift, which is on Main Street in Wakefield, and Civil in East Greenwich, will provide the prizes.
“We might have a couple local vendors selling crafts and baked goods to help benefit the skate park,” Barbosa said.
There will also be raffles, product tosses and more.
Barbosa said in the past as many as 200 people have attended in the contest, with a high of 50 people entering the competition.
“I’d like to shoot for that again,” he said.
Barbosa said he plans to use the money raised from the contest to make additions to the park using the existing ramps.
“We will rebuild over them as a foundation for new ramps, the ones up here are pre-fabricated and just dropped in place,” he said.
Barbosa said the ramps are prone to chipping and a staff member from the South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Department came down to patch the chips ahead of the contest.
“We’re going to focus the money on expanding the skate park and building new ramps,” he said.
Barbosa said he is also looking to create a skate park committee responsible for allocating funds for the skate park repairs.
Since Barbosa said he is only here for a couple of weeks this year before he returns to San Diego to run SD Skate Life and continue giving skate lessons and holding camps on the West Coast, he hopes the committee can oversee the park in his absence.
Those interested in serving on the committee can contact Barbosa.
Don’t miss the skate contest, this Saturday, July 20, at Old Mountain Field on Kingstown Road in Wakefield. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the contest starts at 11 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the skate park.