On August 24th, 2013 the City of Leduc’s Rock the Rails event was held at the Leduc Skateboard Park. The event, which has become an annual summer activity, brings together scooter, BMX, and skateboard enthusiasts with local musicians for a rocking good time. Picture by Tom Dirsa. Story by Lorna Lowe.
Another fabulous year under its belt and Leduc's Rock The Rails event just keeps getting bigger and better! Hundreds turned out for a last blast of summer before school starts up again and competition was fierce in both the skate park and on stage at the Battle of the Bands.
The fun got underway at 11am with tons of activities, free goodies and a chance for the contestants in the skateboard, BMX, and scooters competitions to warm up and put the finishing touches on some of the crazy spins and jumps they would be showing off later.
Every year since the inception of this event the attendance has increased, there are more vendors and sponsors setting up booths, the competition prizes get more impressive, and this year was no exception to the rule. Sonic 102.9 FM were on hand pumping out the tunes from their booth by the stage and station staff were cruising around the site handing out bandannas, Pizza 73 was giving out free pizza slices to one and all, and Mac's Froster-Mobile was parked on the grass with two lovely young ladies showing everyone how to help themselves to free frosters.
There was a bounce house, inflatable obstacle course, and inflatable jousting arena set up on site and being well used by people of all ages. Alberta Health Services set up a photo booth and encouraged everyone to come and get a shot of their best "helmet hair". Leduc Fire Services were manning a booth and handing out stickers and swag while visiting with everyone. The Leduc RCMP detachment had several members on site displaying the Fallen Members Memorial truck and trailer as well as the RCMP dragster which competes at events across Alberta. A couple of members really got into the fun atmosphere and were seen playing a game of scoop-ball catch with some of the kids that were attending the event.
Urban artist Adrian (AJ) Louden was on hand again this year creating fabulous works of art live on site, as well as teaching the basics of spray paint art to a lucky group of young people.
However, once the competitions got underway in the skate park, the crowd packed the outside of the bowl and ramps vying to get the best view. The day kicked off with the scooter competitions and it is simply amazing to see what these kids can do with these two wheeled scooters, other than just ride them down the street! Sliding, jumping, flying across obstacles, standing and spinning on one wheel, it is truly something to see.
After the scooter comps the BMX'ers took to the ramps beginning with beginner level. This competition boasted it's first female competitor this year in the form of 13 year old Kastewin Norris who had only been riding for four months! Kastewin made it through the first round of eliminations but sadly did not make it to the finals.
After BMX the skate boarders took over the park and roared their way around the course performing crazy feats that seemed to defy gravity at times.
The prizes this year awarded to the various winners of the numerous levels of competitions were amazing and included a brand new scooter and a 2013 Fit Eddie 1 BMX bike.
Of course the skate park wasn't the site of the only competition happening that day. The Battle of the Bands was fought out loud and proud on stage between six talented local groups. Vying for a list of prizes that included $1,000.00 worth of recording time at Edmonton Studios, a 20 minute live set at Avenue Theatre, and a track from the winning band to be featured on MADD Gear's Alberta Tours Rock The Rails video. The six bands that thrashed it out on stage were Yikes, Innertwine, No Discretion, My Side Of The Mountain, Love And Lies, and The Velveteins. At the end of the day No Discretion came out as the big winners with Yikes a close second.
With Rock The Rails gaining momentum every year this competition promises to become a huge draw for Leduc with competitors already coming in from Strathcona County and Spruce Grove. A truly unique and well run event, here's hoping Rock The Rails continues to entertain, challenge and amaze for many years to come!
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