Ask Cheshire resident John Ingrassia and he’ll tell you that his community has one of the nicest skate parks in the area.
Now, he’s hoping to entice more people to use it.
To do so, Ingrassia and his friends have organized a special Zoom event for this Saturday, Oct. 16, and some notable names in the skateboarding industry will be there.
“Skateboarding has always been a hobby of mine, and Cheshire has such a great facility for the kids who are really interested in getting good at skateboarding to practice at,” Ingrassia explained. “My friends and I wanted to host an event that would get kids who are interested in skating and music excited about what they can do together.”
Ingrassia will be hosting a special “Zoom hangout” with several professional skateboarders turned musicians who are interested in reaching out to the younger generation. Ingrassia has noticed a trend where professional skaters and musicians work together to produce skating videos with members of the younger skating community.
“Some of these guys have just amazing skills, (and) they used to tour in the ’90s with (pro-skater) Tony Hawk,” he said. “Now they’re a little older, some of them have gotten into the music scene, too. They started creating these amazing skating videos with young kids with really amazing music mashed up with it. I want to get our kids involved with them and see what they can do.”
Ingrassia was able to contact pro skaters Kevin Harris, Claus Grabke, Steve Alba, and Steve Steadham, who were all excited to join him on his mission to bring professional skateboarding to Cheshire.
Harris became a pro skater in 1989, when he was named Canada’s very first pro-skater. To this day he is still regarded as one of the best freestyle skaters in the world. Grabke, a German-born skater, is now a music producer and in his free time turns abandoned swimming pools into skate parks for various communities. Alba and Steadham are both skateboarding pioneers and musicians, with Alba making his name in backyard pool skating, while Steadham used to be a member of the “Bones Brigade.” who were featured in a 1980s film bout the U.S. professional skating circuit.
“What we originally wanted to do was hold a festival at the skate park with these guys and have kids of all ages and abilities come together and have a good time,” Ingrassia explained. “But because of COVID-19 and since (Claus) is international, travel restrictions made it difficult to get everyone in one state. But this Zoom hangout will be a precursor to something that we can hopefully put on next year.”
Ingrassia has been working with the Cheshire Yellow House to monitor interest for not only the event, but also skateboarding in general.
“We want to get a group of kids together who are serious about skating, or are serious about music, and put those creative minds together and get something really special out of it,” Ingrassia added. “Hopefully, during the Zoom hangout we can get kids to ask them questions and really get them interested in what we have to offer.”
The meeting will happen at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16, and will be recorded for viewing after the fact. To sign up, visit www.johningrassiamusic.com or reach out to the Yellow House at (203) 271-2769.