On Tuesday, June 21, over 1500 skateboarders from all over the East Coast and points beyond gathered in Philadelphia to skate en masse in celebration of Emerica’s Wild in the Streets and Go Skateboarding Day, and to promote the need to make the world famous Love Park a legal skate spot!
The mass ride started at the Nocturnal and Elite skate shops, where skaters received their itineraries and excitedly met up with Emerica pros Andrew Reynolds, Erik, Ellington, Tosh Townend and Leo Romero. Everyone stormed the streets as the sound of thousands of skateboard wheels roared over to the first stop at South and Second Street, where the crowd became even more hyped at the sight of additional Emerica legends Heath Kirchart, Kevin "Spanky" Long and Austin Stephens cruising in on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles for the last stop of Heath’s Harley Tour.
The madness continued on through the streets of downtown Philly with pros from Element and Foundation, as well as Philly locals Chris Cole, Kerry Getz, Pete Eldridge, Mike Maldonado and Ricky Oyola. As the locust swarm-like masses pressed onward toward Love Park, the cops closed off a couple of the busiest streets, and members of the Skateboard Advocacy Network gave directions to skaters, as hundreds of random commuters honked horns and pedestrians cheered. The police even had our backs with a patrol car following behind.
In an unrelated incident, one cop died of a heart attack as police skirmished with protesters outside a biotech convention nearby. Way more skateboarders showed up than biotech protestors, though, and the skaters were way more peaceful. The Philly police, it should be noted, did a great job and helped keep the day safe for everyone.
At Love Park, there was a massive rally to make the once great spot skatable again…legally. The throngs then headed over to finish the day at Front and Tasker (under the 1-95 overpass) with a barbecue, as tons of skaters attacked a myriad of obstacles with abandon.
All in all, Emerica’s Wild in the Streets 2005 exceeded our wildest expectations. We here at Emerica would like to thank Element, Elite, Foundation, Nocturnal, the Philadelphia police, the Skateboard Advocacy Network, Traffic Skateboards, and all of the skateboarders who showed up to reclaim the streets with the Emerica team, and support Love Park. We’d also like to thank all of the skateboarders who celebrated Wild in the Streets at over 70 other locations worldwide.
"Wild in the Streets was a huge success. The energy and the movement was amazing! I get goose bumps every time I think about how powerful this event was. It was fantastic."—Alex Corporan