new event aims to put flats' rivergate on map as a recreation destination

Mention Rivergate Park in the Flats in conversation and you'll likely be met with blank looks. Yet an eclectic alliance of skateboarders, cyclists and urban recreation groups are trying to change that with Rollin' on the River, an event that aims to put Rivergate on the map as a recreation destination.

Rollin' on the River, which takes place Saturday, September 29th at 1785 Merwin Avenue, will bring together skateboarding, cycling and music for an afternoon of fun.

"A lot of change has come to the Flats over the summer and 2013 will hold even more," said Vince Frantz, Executive Director of the skateboarding advocacy organization Public Square Group, in a release. "We wanted to celebrate that and highlight the amazing recreation organizations doing awesome work in the city.”

Rivergate Park is a new, 2.4-acre Cleveland Metropark that lies adjacent to the Columbus Road bridge along the Cuyahoga River in the Flats. The Cleveland Rowing Foundation also owns acreage there which includes its boathouse. In the coming months, there are big plans for this small slice of urban waterfront.

The City of Cleveland will break ground on the long-awaited Crooked River Skatepark by the end of the year. The Metroparks also plans to develop its new park and offer programming that will include adventure sports, canoeing and kayaking. Rivergate Park is already home to the Head of the Cuyahoga regatta race, the Ohio City Bike Co-op and the Cleveland Dragon Boat Association.

The free, all-ages event starts at 2 p.m. with a pop-up skateboard park, dragon boat rides on the river, live music, beer and food. Bike Cleveland is also organizing rides to Rivergate, and a contest will be held for the best bike carrier for a skateboard.

Source: Vince Frantz
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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