Skate Day Saturday

Marianne Gillespie

Chillicotheans will skate to their hearts content Saturday to help build a skate/bike park in town.

“We want to give people an up close look — to touch it, play with it and ride on it,” said Lisa Burnett, chairwoman of the Chillicothe Skate Bike Park Committee.

American Ramp Co. is trucking in its equipment so residents can see the examples of the kinds of things the committee wants to purchase for the future Chillicothe Skate Park.

Committee members also will set up more pieces of equipment for residents to enjoy.

All those with skateboards, rollerskates, rollerblades and BMX bikes may participate in the fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Three Sisters Park in the pavilion. Cost is $5 for the day.

DJ Greg Kircher will keep the riders geared up with music for the day.

Prizes will be awarded for ramp contests throughout the day.

Concessions will be available as well, including cookies, fruit, chili dogs, hot dogs, sloppy joes, nachos, soda and water.

Vendors also will sell their wares of jewelry, candles, bike/skate embroidery items, glow sticks and necklaces and hand-blown glass.

Raffles and 50/50 tickets also are offered. Raffles include a $50 gas card from Beck’s Oil, $50 savings bond from South Side Bank, books and other items from the Chillicothe Public Library and $25 gift card for Wal-Mart.

Phelps Photography, which helped advertise the event, will offer action photos of participants for purchase.

Troy Mitchell of Chilli Bike and Board will provide some extra pads and helmets for residents to use. Pads and helmets are mandatory for participants.

Additionally, all participants must have a waiver, signed by a parent if under 18.

Waivers are available on the city’s Web site at Click on upcoming events and then March 29.

Rescue 33 will stand by in case of any accidents.

At 5 p.m., the crew then will switch gears, with the equipment pulled out and the pavilion ready for six bands. Admission is $10 for the evening, which concludes around 12:30 a.m.

The second part of the fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. when York Town Prophet takes the stage with its Western flair. The group also features local Chris Davis.

Each band will play about 40 minutes to an hour.

Levee Town is scheduled to play next, which is touted as Kansas City’s No. 1 blues band. The group played previously for a skate/bike fundraiser at Crazy Charlie’s.

The band also will play Sunday at River Beach Pub for another skate/bike park benefit at 2 p.m. All ages are welcome as the band will perform in a separate dining room.

Easy Riders, a blues group, also includes Illinois Valley Central graduate Jordan Bannister.

Engaged, a band from Missouri, originally was to play at CrossWord Café, but now will play at the fundraiser.

Your Face in the Crowd, of Edwardsville, features all original music and the talents of former Chillicotheans Ross Burnett, Luke Schlink and Billy Gleich.

Brain Child, a popular band from Peoria, also will play for the crowd.

Beer will be available after 6 p.m.

Future park

Money raised from the benefit will support a Chillicothe skate/bike park, planned for the grassy area at the front of Moffitt Nature Park.

The committee downsized the plans from around $200,000 to $100,000.

Burnett said she thought the original plan with the bowl will probably be one of the changes.

With about $15,000 in the bank, the group continues to apply for grants.

Burnett said she would like to see the initial park built, with plans of a concrete pad, equipment, fencing, lights and bleachers. Then the group could focus on additional phases to add to the new park.

“We want to build a full, complete skate park,” said Burnett.

Donations may be made for the cause anytime by writing a check to the Skate Bike Park Committee, care of South Side Bank, P.O. Box 259, Chillicothe, IL 61523.