With his smooth fox terrier, Turbo, watching him, Eric Creason, of Madison Heights, drops into the bowl at Geary Park June 5.

With his smooth fox terrier, Turbo, watching him, Eric Creason, of Madison Heights, drops into the bowl at Geary Park June 5.

Photo by Deb Jacques


New Ferndale festival to bring skating contests, art fair to park

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 8, 2021

 Alex Boundy, of Hazel Park, prepares to hit a grind at Geary Park while Mitch Moore, of Rochester Hills, documents it with his camera.

Alex Boundy, of Hazel Park, prepares to hit a grind at Geary Park while Mitch Moore, of Rochester Hills, documents it with his camera.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FERNDALE — Geary Park will be the site of a new event in Ferndale this summer, with a special focus on the park’s main attraction: its skate park.

The first annual Gravity Art Fair & Skate Contest will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Geary Park, located at 1198 Earl Blvd. Highlighting the event will be contests at the skatepark, along with an art fair featuring more than 50 local artists.

The festival will include skateboarding, scooter, inline skating and BMX contests. There will be three age groups per contest — 9-12, 13-17, and 18 and older — who will compete for cash and other prizes. The contests will run from noon to 6 p.m. and they will be run by Modern Skate & Surf.

Event producer and Ferndale resident Krista Johnson said that when her children were young, she would often take them to Geary Park to play on the swings. Once they got older and outgrew the swings, there wasn’t much else to do at the park except for activities such as playing Frisbee or soccer in the open field.

It wasn’t until the skatepark was complete in 2019 that it became a bigger gathering space for not only her kids, but the whole community.

“There are kids and adults gathering there every day cheering each other on; they work out new tricks,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see people unplugged and having a great time, and as more kids started hanging out at the park, more people were gathered there. So it became a real community gathering place. I decided to create a festival fueled by the skate park and really show it off and celebrate its culture.”

Johnson said she wanted to create the festival centered around the skate park to both show it off and celebrate the culture it’s brought to Ferndale.

“I love walking by and seeing all these people together, cooperating and just being unplugged and having fun,” she said.

Johnson and her company, Reveal Productions, are co-producing the event with the Ferndale Parks and Recreation Department. Director LaReina Wheeler has been wanting to organize something like this since the skate park was constructed.

“Some type of event, an annual thing or a show or classes or clinics to teach people how — especially our kids — how to skate, this has always been a vision of ours,” Wheeler said.

Along with the skate contests, local artists will be at the park selling items ranging from skateboard deck art to jewelry to comics to streetwear. There also will be food trucks on the scene and a climbing wall.

“In addition to the contests and our residents and community being able to display their skills with biking and skating and scooters and inline skating, I really love the fact that we’re bringing art into this and displaying street art that really captures the interest of our skate park,” Wheeler said.

Partial proceeds from the festival will go toward the Parks and Recreation Department for future park improvements.

“We really hope to continue to make Ferndale parks exciting gathering places for the community in the future,” said Johnson.

For more information about the festival and to register for the contests, visit www.gravityferndale.com.

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