Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: June 22, 2005
Once taken for granite, LOVE Park sees reunion
For skateboarders, it was a day to be "wild in the streets," to zip around Center City, and to visit LOVE Park – the forbidden former mecca of the skateboarding world.
About 300 skateboarders, ages 10 to mid-20s, converged on Center City yesterday riding from South Street to LOVE Park at 15th and Arch Streets, once a haven for skateboarders that was declared off limits to them a few years ago.
They swarmed the park about 2 p.m., their wheels roaring across the park's granite tiles. Police did not stop them from skating in the park, formally known as JFK Plaza, but officers blocked them from circling the park's fountain.
Among the crowd were nationally known skateboarders who were pursued for autographs. They included Erik Ellington, 27, of Hollywood, Calif., who represents a skateboard manufacturer.
In a show of solidarity and opposition to the skating ban, 200 skateboarders gathered on the perimeter of the park, raising their boards above their heads and chanting, "Free LOVE Park."
Justin Regan, a skateboarder who represented Emerica skateboarding gear, praised LOVE Park. "People just wanted to skate here today," he said. "It's great. This is one of the best places in the country for skaters."