Daniel Walters photo
The city is swapping out blades for wheels, converting the ice ribbon to a roller-skating facility during the warmer months.
Imagine a technology that allows the user to skate, as if on ice
, on solid concrete! Wow!
These devices, known as "roller skates," will turn Riverfront Park's Ice Ribbon into a roller-skating ribbon during the warmer months. The conversion process was relatively simple. The city just had to figure out how to fill the Ribbon's compression-joint gaps to allow smoother skating. So far they're using relatively low-tech solution: plywood and caulk.
"We wanted to get open by Spring Break," says Fianna Dickson, Spokane parks department spokeswoman.
Starting today, the city of Spokane opens up the Ice Ribbon to roller skates, roller blades, toddler push bikes, non-motorized scooters and even — for your more radical and "extreme
" Riverfront Park visitors — skateboards.
Traditional bicycles, however, are not allowed. They tend to be too fast, which can create safety concerns.
“Were trying to control the environment," says Dickson. "We want it to be really family-friendly... We’re trying to keep this relatively slow paced. We want families to come out and enjoy the space." Motorcycles, ATVs, the war rigs from Mad Max
and other motorized equipment are also not allowed on the ribbon.
part of all? There's no entrance fee required to get on the roller-skating ribbon. If you bring your own skates, it's absolutely free.
Otherwise, you can rent one of the 300 new roller-skate pairs the city recently purchased. Rental hours last from 11 am to 7 pm every day of the week. Roller skates will run you $6.50 an hour, while scooters are a little pricier at $8.50 an hour.
And what if, like me, you still have visions of clinging to the wall back at Pattison's
in sixth grade, terrified that your lack of roller-skating prowess means that you'll never be asked to couples-skate? Riverfront Park has a solution for you: Starting on April 8, the Lilac City Roller Derby will offer free roller-skating lessons
. You'll be hip-whipping and J-blocking jammers in no time.
During spring break, you can also check out other specialized activities, like magic shows
. And on Mondays, hotdogs at the Sky Ribbon Café are only a dollar.
One note: The city has a mandatory helmet law. So while Riverfront Park might be able to loan you a helmet, it's best to bring your own. We recommend you also wear wrist guards, knee guards, elbow pads and your bitchin'-est "Skate Or Die" T-shirt.
Young Kwak photo
Recommended roller-skating attire.