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Armory continues to host free skate nights

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Sgt. Seth Martell at the National Guard Armory has been hosting a free skate park on most Friday nights.

The idea to have a skate park at the Armory was developed independently of the effort to establish to a skate park in Bemidji, Martell explained.

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But, the number of skateboarders who have shown up to use the park is indicative of the number of children interested in having a local skate park, he said.

The skate park was developed due to a $2,000 grant from Home Depot for the construction of ramps, which were modeled to exactly what skaters wanted to have, Martell said.

The first free skate night at the Armory drew 86 skaters and about 50 visitors, according to the Web site bemidjiskatepark.blogspot.com.

The Armory is only a temporary solution, Martell said, and may be able to serve a need for one to three years. However, if the number of interested skaters continues to rise, he said the skate nights may need to be broken into different hours or days for younger, inexperienced skateboarders and older, experienced skaters.

Announced times for upcoming free skate nights at the Armory include the following:

-- Jan. 25: 5-8 p.m.

-- Feb. 8: 5-8 p.m.

-- Feb. 15: 5-8 p.m.

-- Feb. 22: 5-8 p.m.

Helmets are required. Parents or guardians must to sign in their children if they are younger than 18.

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