Above, construction has begun on the new Skatepark with the removal of asphalt in the parking lot next to the City fire station. Photo by Don Johnson

Skatepark: Flamingo Finale, groundbreaking set for Sunday

April 14, 2004
Skatepark underway, Ruff Flamingo Finale
Santa Paula News
If you’ve been flocked or made sure someone else was sent a flotilla of flamingos you won’t want to miss Sunday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s new Skatepark and the pre-event honoring those pesky birds and park supporters. By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesIf you’ve been flocked or made sure someone else was sent a flotilla of flamingos you won’t want to miss Sunday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s new Skatepark and the pre-event honoring those pesky birds and park supporters.Laura Phillips, a SPAS (Santa Paula Association of Skaters) co-founder, said the group will be holding a Flamingo Finale party on Sunday, April 18, at 11 a.m. At 11:30 the City Council will be on hand for the official groundbreaking for the skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park.Flamingo pink was be the theme of the finale party: “We’ll have pink lemonade, a flamingo pinada, some flamingo games like flamingo ring and penny tosses, and flamingo prizes,” said Phillips.The Flamingo Finale party is SPAS’ way to “just get together and thank those who were flocked or paid for someone to be flocked,” an off-the-wall way to raise skatepark money that brought $6,100 to the coffers of SPAS.A majority of funding for the park was acquired through a state grant but when the city fell short of what it would take to build a complete park, the flamingos took off and flockings soon became a popular stunt.The effort to build a skatepark started over three years ago and SPAS was created in January 2001.
“We’re thrilled that it’s becoming a reality, I can’t believe it. We (Marisue Eastlake is also a co-founder) started on this when my son Jake was a freshman in high school,” Phillips noted. “He better have some time to skate in that park before he goes off to college. All the kids are really excited.”In all, SPAS has raised $25,000 and it now “looks like there will be enough to do the whole park and the fence. It doesn’t include the skatepark plaza but we’re still working out the details with the city. We’re hoping to raise another $15,000 which will include a really nice grand opening,” when the skatepark is completed.Melanie Binsley and Phillips were at the helm of a majority of the flamingo flockings that landed at 129 area homes and businesses.“It was mostly residences and we’re really going to miss doing it although we were really busy. The kids will miss it too, everybody was so supportive it was really fun.”All of the famous flocking flamingos will be at Sunday’s event and Phillips said SPAS is considering selling the pink birds to “anyone missing them or who just wants one, although some of them are kind of beat-up” from hard landings.



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