*UPDATE! Check out the photos from the June 21 Wild in the Streets event here!
DETROIT — Imagine thousands of people wandering through the streets of Detroit, hootin', hollerin', and having a really good time. It's not the St. Patty's Day Parade. It's not the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's not a parade at all. It's called Wild in the Streets — and those thousands of people, will all come equipped with skateboards.
On June 21, these skateboarders will flock to the streets of the city in celebration of skateboarding culture, Detroit and to benefit of a handful of great organizations.
The event, now in its eighth year, started as a benefit to raise money to pay for John Cardiel's medical bills after he was injured and broke his back in a skateboarding accident. Seeing the model of fundraising and celebration working well, Emerica, who hosts the event, ran — or skated — on with it.
"I can tell you countless anecdotal stories about skateboarding, as an activity with just enough unwritten structure, having positive impact on kids' lives," says Mark Waters, who organized the Detroit event for 2012, as well as many others in years passed. "That can be true of basketball, baseball, or any sport, really. But what I've found about skateboarding is that it is one of the few activities where the surrounding culture cultivates creativity, artistry, positive attitudes towards others as opposed to a competitive nature, and individualism."
Wild in the Streets 2012 comes to Detroit to support the Power House Production's Ride It Sculpture Park, which is now very much under construction in the north Detroit neighborhood bordering Davison Freeway and Klinger, just north of Hamtramck.
The real fundraising comes in when after the event, when the riders and Emerica's pro skateboarding team will shred at Modern Skate & Surf's skate park in Royal Oak, collecting admission fees as well as beer and food concession money, all to benefit the park.
"I can tell you countless anecdotal stories about skateboarding, as an activity with just enough unwritten structure, having positive impact on kids lives."
Wild in the Streets is also pairing with Tampa-based Boards for Bros, who is collecting skateboards to refurbish and distribute to kids in the north Detroit neighborhood. Over 125 skateboards have been donated so far, and skate brands Independent and Spitfire have donated a lot of products to help make this endeavor a reality.
And, as of this past weekend, this year's event will celebrate the life of Ryan Gaynier, part of the Refuge Skateshop community in Dearborn, who lost his life in a car accident.
So, if you're not busy June 21, come down to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and join the madness that is Wild in the Streets. If you don't feel like skateboarding, well, grab a lawnchair, because you're really not going to want to miss this spectacle.
If you feel like taking the whole day and dedicating it to a good cause, come celebrate and donate to the Sculpture Park at the fundraising event, held at Modern Skate & Surf. Come ride with some pros, see some great bands and support a great cause.
Also, stay tuned for photos June 22, the day following the event!