Thursday, July 10, 2014

Heaven in Hartford - Grand Opening Party

This is kind of a big deal.  Heaven, the community graffiti and skate/bike park located just north of downtown Hartford, is throwing a grand opening party this Saturday, July 12th.  In my (not so) humble opinion, Heaven is significantly more interesting than a $60 million AA baseball stadium.  Saturday is also the Riverfest Fireworks (nearby to Heaven) and the Real Ride (biking to the fireworks from Real Art Ways).  The Real Ride will be stopping at Heaven on the way to the riverfront, so if you're chilling there with your bike (or board, or skates) you can hook up with the rolling parade for the final stretch to the park.  More info below on Heaven from Luis Cotto.  

Get there.  Because 'Merica.
Big Shiny Burners
I'm a sucker for sugar skulls
Hartford's first skatepark to open this Saturday, Celebration noon to 4 pm.

Please join us this Saturday at noon at Heaven (New Ross, County Wexford Park) in downtown Hartford, Connecticut at noon for the ribbon cutting ceremony and opening celebration of the City's first skatepark. After five years of effort by members of skateboard, BMX and hip hop community, the park is reopening again in its entirety with a world-class poured concrete skatepark for Hartfordites and others to enjoy. Of course, the history of the park with respect to skateboarding goes back nearly 20 years; as many know it was featured in several seminal 90's skate videos and established Hartford as the secret skate mecca of the Northeast.

The program will be begin at noon on Saturday with remarks from the Friends of Heaven Skatepark, local elected officials and others involved in the creation of this park. Invited and/or confirmed guests include Mayor Pedro Segarra, the Hartford Court of Common Council, former Councilmember Luis E. Cotto, 860 Custom Skateshop, Underground Coalition, the Tony Hawk Foundation and others. Please stay afterwards for demos, live music, graffiti, breakdancing and to use the park (or spectate). Starting Saturday, the skatepark will be open dawn to dusk everyday.

The Hartford Court of Common Council created the Hartford Skateboard Task Force in 2009 with the purpose of advising the City on the potential location, design and construction of a skatepark. Comprised of representatives of the skating, BMX, business, government and park communities, the Task Force fulfilled those goals and undertook fundraising and grant writing measures to ensure that the park would be built. The design for the park was created with strong community input and a devised process via a series of public meetings. Pulling together a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant through the City of Hartford, a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant (first one in CT, making CT the final state in the country to get one) and individual donors, the park was able to secure funding and grow from a dream into reality. Through a competitive bidding process, the design/build team of Stantec and Who Skates was selected, designing and constructing the skatepark in 2013-2014.

The Friends of Heaven Skatepark is a group born out of the legacy of the Task Force to maintain, promote, program and encourage the free use of the New Ross, County Wexford Park and Heaven Skate Park by providing a space that fosters grassroots arts, recreation and culture for Hartford youth and residents.

More information about the Friends group and the history of the project and the space is available at

In the event of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday with the same schedule.

Real Ride Details - BIKE DECORATING BEGINS AT 6:30 PM, RIDE LEAVES AROUND 8:20 PM.  Starts and ends at 56 Arbor Street, Real Art Ways.  Stopping at Heaven on the way to the Riverfront.  Bring your lights, music, loud clothing, and your awesomest self and friends.


Luis Cotto said...

the long ass press release was actually a 100% cut n paste from the press release put out by Brendan Mahoney. Just Sayin... looking forward to seeing people there.

Brendan said...

Yeah, you'd think the "MEDIA CONTACT" thing with my name and the email coming from me would belie authorship. ;-)

Brendan said...

Additionally, the event at the skatepark is noon to 4, so it doesn't coincide with the real ride.

Tony C said...

Brendan - The release I lifted from something Luis posted didn't have all the contact info. Should have guessed that you penned it. Keep up the great work! Saw 20ish folks testing the park out this evening.

Anyone lagging into the evening at Heaven after the official event is welcome to hook up with the Real Ride.

Tony C said...

For those that don't know their way around Hartford, the park is just North of downtown. Walk north in Main or Trumbull. The park is on a concrete slab straddling I-84. You can't miss the eye popping graffiti.

dario said...

Congratulations Brendan and other organizers. It was a fine event. Great to see lots of people, skaters, and the young ones on the scooters, honing their skills.

-- dario

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