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Things to do in Gainesville: Skating, barbecue and free music
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The City of Gainesville is planning to connect the Midtown Greenway to the Highlands to Islands Trail. - photo by David Barnes

This weekend might be the perfect time to roll around the Midtown Greenway.

Celestial Studios, with help from Gainesville Parks and Recreation and Main Street Gainesville, is hosting Skate the City at the park along the greenway. They hope to bring out young and old for a fun evening on wheels.

Skate the City

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22

Where: Midtown Greenway, 682 Grove St, Gainesville

How much: Free

More info:

“Skating is making a resurgence, so there’s a lot of interest in it right now,” said Fox Gradin, owner of Celestial Studios, a photography studio in midtown. “So we decided to bring it to Gainesville.”

The free event is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Skates will not be provided.

Gradin said her family are “avid skaters.” They’ve been to other skate events in Atlanta, which is where they first heard of an event like this. She said the activity is growing in popularity again, so she decided to pitch the idea to Gainesville Parks and Recreation.

“When she came to us with this idea, we went with it,” said Julie Butler-Colombini, spokeswoman for Gainesville Parks and Recreation. “And the whole idea of people utilizing the Midtown Greenway in so many different ways, it’s just such a natural fit. The layout of the park makes it perfect for all kinds of wheels.”

Whether on inline skates, scooters or a bike, the event is for everyone.

“We’ve got an awesome DJ that we’ve brought in that’s going to be playing ‘80s and early ‘90s music,” Gradin said. “We’re looking for anything with wheels: skates, bikes, scooters. Whatever you’ve got.”

The Inked Pig will be out at the park serving barbecue and beer alongside Jeannie’s Weenies serving hot dogs. Kona Ice will be there, too.

“We just thought it might be a great idea on a summer evening,” Butler-Colombini said. “Just like a fun summer night out in the park. It’s just a unique idea. And we are really putting focus on bringing as many cool things as we can to the Midtown Greenway.”

It’s not just for those with wheels, though. Butler-Colombini said she hopes people come out to simply enjoy the community that turns out, whether it’s just for the food or music.

“You don’t have to skate,” Butler-Colombini said. “This is going to be great people watching. So just come out and enjoy some music.”

Gradin hopes Skate the City turns into an annual event, or even a bi-annual event.

“I was born and raised here in Gainesville and I’m committed to bringing the community things that I want to do, things that I think are cool and I want to share with my community,” Gradin said.

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